Bill Gates Teams Up With UK Government to Promote Clean Energy Tech

Bill Gates and Boris Johnson announce partnership to promote clean energy 10 photos
Photo: Breakthrough Energy
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Just a few hours after we published that the partnership between INEOS and Hyundai could be a match made in heaven for fuel cells, Boris Johnson and Bill Gates decided to have a say in promoting clean energy as well. They have announced a partnership to make green hydrogen and long-term energy storage take off in the UK.
Although this seems to be something that may impact only that country, that’s not the proper perspective about the deal. Its goal is to help the UK develop and present solutions that may affect the entire world thanks to a public-private sector partnership. After the UK government invested £200 million ($275.27 million at the current exchange rate), private businesses associated with Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will invest £200 million more.

Gates is the founder of Breakthrough Energy. Catalyst is a program led by this entity to bring “businesses, governments, philanthropists, and individuals to invest in critical climate technologies.” Apart from green hydrogen and long-term energy storage, the partnership also wants to promote sustainable aviation fuels and direct air capture.

These are interesting concerns. Green hydrogen should help create the refueling infrastructure that FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles) need so badly to develop as feasible options apart from BEVs (battery electric vehicles). Green hydrogen will help primarily commercial vehicles, which need to keep weight down to carry more stuff.

Regarding long-term energy storage, it is crucial to make renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power more feasible. They usually produce most of the electricity when consumption is lower: during the day. Most energy demand happens at night – when people get back home. With energy storage, the electricity generated during the day could be used at night.

Current solutions are betting on ternary cells, but LFP seems to be a better technology: it is cheaper and does not present as much risk of thermal runaways as NMC or NCA. A recent fire on the Victorian Big Battery shows that it is not a baseless concern.

Tackling aviation fuels will help decarbonize air transport, even if the most concerning means of transportation for carbon emissions is waterborne. Direct air capture would be a way to attempt to fix the atmosphere by removing the excessive carbon amounts burning fossil fuels added to it.
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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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