Greenhouse emissions have become more and more prominent in the public consciousness in recent times. For people who are familiar with the concept but not so familiar with the exact reason that it has been receiving so much interest in recent times, it can be summed up in a simple and straightforward manner. When sunlight reaches the Earth, some of its power is retained while the rest is reflected. Greenhouse gases cannot block the more energetic light that reaches the Earth but can block the less energetic light that reflects off of the Earth, meaning that more greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere results in a hotter planet as a whole. Since the Earth consists of an enormous collection of inter-related processes, such changes will cause unpredictable changes to a wide range of environmental factors, which will mean serious disruption at a minimum for our societies, which have been built up on the assumption that the current state of things will persist for the foreseeable future. Something that can no longer be guaranteed.
As a result, there are a lot of people with a lot of interest in promoting clean tech, which is a catch-all term for new techniques and technologies that can provide the same functions as their not so clean counterparts while lowering greenhouse emissions in the process. Furthermore, clean tech often comes with other benefits besides the lowering of greenhouse emissions, with common examples ranging from lowering costs for their users by lowering the inputs needed to produce the same outputs to reducing reliance on limited resources that can be complicated to make use of for political, geographical, and other factors, which serves to further explain the still rising interest in them. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are numerous businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations out there that exist for the purpose of encouraging the creation of clean tech, with Breakthrough Energy Ventures being one of the latest examples.
With that said, it is important to note that Breakthrough Energy Ventures stands head and shoulders over similar entities for a number of reasons. For example, the investors who make up Breakthrough Energy Ventures are the people who built some of the biggest companies in the world, with examples ranging from Bill Gates and Jack Ma to Jeff Bezos and Vinod Khosla, which provides it with an enormous amount of business acumen as well as an instant respect that would have to be built up over time in the normal course of things. Furthermore, it possesses a $1 billion war-chest, meaning that it possesses a lot of power that could be used to shape the world into something befitting its stated intentions. Summed up, while Breakthrough Energy Ventures is not a one of a kind organization, its backing means that people with a strong interest in clean tech should take notice sooner rather than later.
What Is Breakthrough Energy Ventures Supposed to Do?
Breakthrough Energy Ventures has stated its intentions for its investments on its website, meaning that interested individuals can peruse them at their leisure. In brief, it is interested in projects with the potential to lower greenhouse emissions by at least half a gigaton, which translates to 500,000,000 tons. For comparison, the entire world emitted 9.795 gigatonnes of carbon from the use of fossil fuels in 2014, meaning that the fund is interested in ambitious projects that can make a noticeable impact on the current state of things. However, it is important to note that the fund is not so foolish to fund projects with nothing but nebulous promises behind them, as shown by how its investments will be limited to projects with a scientific proof of concept that can be brought to market as well as the potential needed to attract other investors, meaning that it is smart and sensible about how it plans to use its $1 billion.
Summed up, Breakthrough Energy Ventures can be seen as a booster of sorts for clean tech companies. It will not fund projects that promise much but will not be able to deliver on those same promises. However, it will provide much-needed funding for projects with much potential but lack the ability to fulfil that same potential within a time frame that other funds would consider unacceptable. By doing so, it will ensure that such projects will not fail but instead receive the support needed to change the world while still making sure that its war-chest and other resources are used in a sound manner rather than tossed here and there into bottomless pits that will never produce something useful.
Can Breakthrough Energy Ventures Succeed?
The introduction of Breakthrough Energy Ventures should be seen as excellent news because the importance of clean tech is becoming clearer and clearer. Its $1 billion war-chest should enable it to do much to advance its cause, but furthermore, it is possible that its promise will enable others to do something similar, meaning that its impact on the world of clean tech could be disproportionate to its actual spending.
However, it is important to remember that a single fund will not be able to save the world on its own. Greenhouse gases are a global threat, meaning that it will take a global effort to solve. Breakthrough Energy Ventures is an important part of that solution, but it will not suffice on its own, which is why other people have to step up to do their part as well. Sometimes, this could be as simple as making sure to recycle as much waste as possible so as to reduce the consumption of limited resources, thus slowing down the rate of their eventual depletion. Other times, this could take the form of eco-conscious consumption choices that will benefit the consumer as much as the environment, with examples ranging from energy-efficient cars that need less fuel to move the same distance as their not so efficient counterparts to well-insulated homes that are cooler in summer and warmed in winter. Regardless, whatever happens, Breakthrough Energy Ventures has sufficient power it that its future is sure to be an interesting one.