Breakthrough Energy is more than our name - it’s our mission. We operate a range of initiatives and programs to catalyze technological transformation by supporting promising, scalable clean innovations at every step of their development and rollout. We help inventors and entrepreneurs find partners and funding, build new tools and models to help us understand where innovation is needed, and push governments and the private sector to boost innovation wherever they can.
Many countries (such as the signers of the Paris Climate Agreement) and some U.S. states (such as California and New York) have already developed ambitious goals to cut their greenhouse gas emissions in the next two decades.
But too often, plans to reach these admirable goals don’t include a practical path forward.
To meet this challenge, Breakthrough Energy is assembling a team of top scientists and technologists to develop the tools to find the best evidence-based approaches to actually meeting emissions targets. The Breakthrough Energy Sciences team will build software tools and serve as the knowledge repository for all our programs, policies, and investments.
Our first publicly available tool, the Breakthrough Energy Grid Modeling Project, is a sophisticated, open-source, high-resolution synthetic model of the U.S. energy grid. The Grid Model can help researchers, policymakers, and advocates identify where new infrastructure is needed to maximize clean energy production - and simulate the gains from implementing clean energy technologies such as energy storage, offshore wind, and HVDC (high voltage direct current) connections.
Over time, Breakthrough Energy Sciences will develop more tools and partnerships to help the world reach net-zero emissions and clean energy for all.
Energy innovation cannot happen without the help of governments around the world.
The public sector funds basic research, translate that research into investment-worthy projects, regulate technologies as they are deployed in the market, and encourage consumers and companies to make choices that will get us to zero.
At Breakthrough Energy, we provide governments with smart, adaptable policies that can accelerate innovation from lab to market. We also bring governments together with corporations and investors to encourage cross-sector collaboration towards reducing emissions across the global economy.
Given its historic contributions to global innovation and leadership, large economy, and considerable impact on greenhouse gas emissions (roughly 15 percent of the global total), the United States has a responsibility to lead the world toward a clean energy transition. It’s critical that American policymakers align policy, technology, and market incentives toward net-zero emissions.
Breakthrough Energy works with policymakers at all levels of U.S. government to advance policy solutions that will accelerate technological development, get clean technologies to market, and help the world achieve our mid-century decarbonization goals.
In Canada, we are working in partnership with the government to inspire and support Canadian innovators working to commercialize zero-GHG technologies. Announced in May 2019 with an initial investment of up to $30 million, Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada (BESC) is helping Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Energy Innovation Program to accelerate the development and rollout of clean energy technologies in the electricity, transportation, building, and manufacturing sectors.
The European Commission has already demonstrated great leadership by committing to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. As EU leaders, Member States, and the UK continue their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the continent, the Breakthrough Energy-Europe team is actively working with policymakers and stakeholders to ensure innovation and investing in clean technologies – from green hydrogen to direct air capture to long duration storage – are part of the discussion.
At the 2015 Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, standing alongside President Barack Obama, President François Hollande, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, our founder Bill Gates announced an historic commitment by 24 nations to prioritize innovation in clean energy. In 2019, these Mission Innovation countries, along with the European Commission, invested an additional $4.6 billion to support the development of new and enhanced low-emissions technologies. Through policy, partnerships, and targeted investment in potentially transformative tools and technologies, Breakthrough Energy is helping to advance Mission Innovation around the world.