The Year In Review

2021 was a Breakthrough Year

As we reach the end of the year, I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of Breakthrough Energy’s highlights from the past twelve months:

Catalyst: We launched the Catalyst program in June with the ambition of raising $3 billion over the next several years to help accelerate the critical technologies necessary to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Six months later we are over halfway to reaching that fundraising goal. We confirmed 10 private-sector anchor partners, three public sector partners, and one private-sector scaling partner, with more in the pipeline. Additionally, we received a strong response to our first U.S. RFP since it launched in early December. Learn more about Catalyst here.

Fellows: While Catalyst will drive large-scale commercialization, many of the technologies we need to reach net-zero are not yet invented. That's why our Fellows program is so important. The inaugural cohort is made up of seventeen innovator and business fellows who are focused on eight projects for innovations in hydrogen, electrofuels, cement, steel, and fertilizer. Submissions are still open for next year’s cohort – learn more here.

Cipher: The first edition of Cipher by Breakthrough Energy was published in September, featuring an exclusive interview with U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Cipher has hit our inboxes 11 times since then and every edition has helped to contextualize news, connect dots, and learn from diverse perspectives. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to subscribe here.

Sciences: In January, the Sciences team released the culmination of years of work with the Breakthrough Energy Grid Modeling Project. This open-source tool can identify where new infrastructure is needed to maximize clean energy production and simulate gains from implementing clean energy technologies. This sophisticated analytical tool is critical to our global effort driving renewable energy investment and policy.

U.S. Policy & Advocacy: We have actively engaged on Capitol Hill over the last year to shape the groundbreaking clean energy and climate legislation being considered. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law in November, investing $115 billion in climate and energy programs that will have a positive impact on Americans for generations. With more policy debate poised to take place in 2022, our team will continue to push the urgency of climate work through conversations with policymakers, byline articles and more.

Europe: Our European team was the first to add a member to our Catalyst community with our first public-sector partnership with the European Commission and European Investment Bank. Since then, they’ve brought on the UK Government and advanced our partnership with Mission Innovation to help drive action in low- and middle-income countries. They were a driving force to ensuring our successful presence at COP26 and also made sure that our priorities are reflected in Europe’s "Fit for 55" package, which will guide how the continent responds to climate change over the next decade.

Ventures: Our partners at Breakthrough Energy Ventures are continuing to make strides and defining what it means to do successful venture capital in the clean tech space, ending the year with 80+ portfolio companies, including more than 25 new investments in 2021. Additionally, this year the portfolio attracted more than $5 billion in capital to support climate technology solutions. This level of investment demonstrates the credibility and talent the BEV team has in finding and funding opportunities where technology can make a difference in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Best of all is that we are just getting started. We laid the tracks for an even more exciting 2022 where we will continue to do the work needed to accelerate innovation and scale the next generation of climate technologies.

I hope you enjoy a relaxing and refreshing holiday season.

Jonah Goldman
Managing Director


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Jonah Goldman

Managing Director, Breakthrough Energy

Dec 07, 2021

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