Editor’s note: This week, at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, President Obama, President Hollande, and other world leaders launched Mission Innovation. The aim of this initiative is to accelerate global clean-energy progress and innovations in a cost-effective manner. As part of its contribution to Mission Innovation, the U.S. Government will seek to double its current level of investment in clean energy R&D over five years. Here’s the release from the Obama administration.
Through the Mission Innovation initiative, 20 countries representing 80% of global clean-energy research and development (R&D) budgets are committing to double their respective R&D investments over five years. These additional resources will dramatically expand the new technologies that will define a future global power mix that is clean, affordable, and reliable.
The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, an independent initiative launched simultaneously with Mission Innovation and spearheaded by Bill Gates, is a global group of private investors that will take the risks that allow the early stage energy companies that emerge from the research programs of Mission Innovation countries to come out of the lab and into the marketplace.
Accelerating clean-energy innovation is essential to achieving the goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures to below 2˚C (limiting global warming to no more than 2˚C is the goal for climate policy).
While significant progress has been made in cost reduction and deployment of clean technologies, the pace of innovation and the scale of transformation is falling far short of what is required. Mission Innovation and the Breakthrough Energy Coalition constitute powerful public-private efforts to accelerate R&D of affordable technologies while supporting a new generation of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.
The Breakthrough Energy Coalition is a group of 28 influential investors from 10 countries committed to providing patient, early-stage capital that will take innovative technologies from the world’s great laboratories and build them into energy solutions at scale.
In the past, too often energy technologies have not crossed the investment “valley of death” where there was little funding to develop ideas because the risk profile and long return time horizons. While the Breakthrough Energy Coalition is an independent effort and not formally affiliated with Mission Innovation, it is committing to bridge that valley of death for those technologies developed in the countries that sign up for Mission Innovation and have the best chance of providing affordable energy that is reliable to everyone.
To reinvigorate global efforts at clean-energy innovation, all participants of both efforts share a common goal to develop breakthrough technologies and substantial cost reductions to enable the global community to meet shared climate goals, increase access to clean and affordable energy, support economic development, and strengthen energy security.
The group of 20 countries launching Mission Innovation spans the globe and accounts for over 80% of global clean energy R&D today. Participating countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
These countries have also committed to regularly reporting on their progress towards the goals they have laid out as part of Mission Innovation. The initiative remains open to participation from other countries.
As part of its contribution to Mission Innovation, the U.S. Government will seek to double its current level investment in clean energy R&D over five years. New funding will initially be strategically allocated to early stage research and development, which offers the some of the greatest opportunities for breakthroughs and transformative change.
The current the U.S. Government investment portfolio of more than $5 billion spans the full range of research and development activities – from basic research to demonstration activities (RD&D). The U.S. Government investment portfolio includes programs at 11 agencies with the largest investment at the Department of Energy.
These programs address a broad suite of low-carbon technologies, including end use energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear energy, electric grid technologies, carbon capture and storage, advanced transportation systems, and fuels.
Additional country commitments can be found at www.mission-innovation.net
The White House – President Obama
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