nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Secretive manouvres involve tax-payer funds for Bill Gates’ small nuclear reactors

months have elapsed since the Microsoft Corp. co-founder and 27 other billionaires rolled out their Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC) — a promise to invest billions of dollars with a very long payback horizon on groundbreaking new carbon-neutral technologies. And the group has barely been heard from since.

Jonah Goldman, a spokesman for the coalition, said much of the work is happening behind the scenes.

Gates brought his message to Capitol Hill, where he met twice with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) in the past year to press the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee chairman for federal support for research and development.

The two men discussed small modular nuclear reactors and carbon capture and storage technology at the meetings, an Alexander aide said.

Gates'-travelling-Wave-Nucl

Nineteen countries joined the United States in backing Mission Innovation in Paris, and the European Union signed on in June. Since then, the Obama administration has followed up with a fiscal 2017 funding request of $7.7 billion for clean energy R&D across the federal government, with $5.9 billion of that going to DOE programs

What’s happening with Bill Gates’ multibillion-dollar energy fund? EENews, Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter, ClimateWire: Monday, August 15, 2016 Bill Gates believes the key to addressing climate change is an “energy miracle,” and in November, he set about trying to conjure one.

Flanked by President Obama and more than a dozen other world leaders in Paris for the first day of a landmark climate summit, Gates claimed a role for the private sector in delivering new solutions.

“We must … add the skills and resources of leading investors with experience in driving innovation from the lab to the marketplace,” Gates said that morning. “The private sector knows how to build companies, evaluate the potential for Breakthrough Energy Coalitionsuccess, and take the risks that lead to taking innovative ideas and bringing them to the world.”

But months have elapsed since the Microsoft Corp. co-founder and 27 other billionaires rolled out their Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC) — a promise to invest billions of dollars with a very long payback horizon on groundbreaking new carbon-neutral technologies. And the group has barely been heard from since.

Jonah Goldman, a spokesman for the coalition, said much of the work is happening behind the scenes. The fund, he said, will make announcements about the kinds of investments that will be made when it is up and running, likely toward the end of this year.

“But the focus is definitely more on doing the work we’ve committed to than making public pronouncements,” he said.

A few things are clear. Some of the group’s contributions will flow through a fund that will concentrate on certain kinds of investments. The group is currently hiring scientists and investment professionals who will direct those decisions. Goldman declined to say how many people are working to stand up the fund or how many employees it will eventually have.

Other things remain a mystery, including the coalition’s eventual capitalization target. Gates promised to invest an additional $1 billion of his own dollars when he launched BEC, and predicted the other members would contribute a collective “couple” billion more toward the venture. But it is unclear how much of that $3 billion — if it is $3 billion — will flow through the fund, versus members investing it independently. Goldman said the total size of the fund and targets for investment will be based on this year’s fundraising.

He said the goal would be to raise a level of capital that the fund could deploy effectively, with the understanding that some of the group’s members will continue to invest in projects outside the fund.

“We feel tremendously confident that we will get significant participation in the ultimate funding vehicle, but each of the potential investors will have to make that decision based on the terms presented, and we’re not quite there yet,” he said…..

Gates brought his message to Capitol Hill, where he met twice with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) in the past year to press the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee chairman for federal support for research and development.

The two men discussed small modular nuclear reactors and carbon capture and storage technology at the meetings, an Alexander aide said.

Then, in the three months before Paris, Gates bore down. He joined Energy and State department officials and White House personnel on calls with foreign governments to urge them to sign on to Mission Innovation, a commitment by countries to double their individual R&D budgets by 2020. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spearheaded the initiative, which was unveiled in Paris alongside BEC (EnergyWire, Dec. 17, 2015).

On those calls, former officials say Gates offered the private investors fund as a kind of carrot, promising to help carry technologies produced in national laboratories across the “valley of death” — where ideas often perish for lack of investment — toward greater development that leads to commercialization.

But first governments had to put up the money…….

DOE vague on BEC relationship

Nineteen countries joined the United States in backing Mission Innovation in Paris, and the European Union signed on in June. Since then, the Obama administration has followed up with a fiscal 2017 funding request of $7.7 billion for clean energy R&D across the federal government, with $5.9 billion of that going to DOE programs…….

DOE was less forthcoming about its work with BEC post-Paris. A department spokesman said in response to an inquiry only that the agency “is in communication with thousands of researchers, entrepreneurs, inventors, small businesses and large corporations.”

While the spokesman asserted that the investors’ group and Mission Innovation are “separate” and “complementary,” the private-sector group has popped up in DOE communications with interested members of civil society. It figured, for example, in a slideshow presentation that Office of International Science and Technology Collaboration Director Robert Marlay prepared for the U.S. Energy Information Administration earlier this year.

The presentation states that the fund would provide “seed, angel and series A” investments. Seed capital is offered in exchange for a stake in a company, while angel investments help startup companies. “Series A” investments are typically the first round of venture capital investments that are made in a new company….

Some of the Gates group’s radio silence appears to be strategic.

Bodnar said Gates and his partners opted not to put forward a concrete pledge of dollars in Paris because it wasn’t a venue where the contribution would appear in its best light. Even a funding target that would be enough to fulfill the group’s goal of readying promising technologies for the market would pale in comparison to the hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars that are routinely discussed in the multilateral climate process…..

what the 28 billionaires managed to do was to signal there will now be “truly patient, flexible” capital available for promising technologies that make it through the basic research phase. Patient capital is seen to be key, because the high risk and very long time horizons for payback have generally made these technologies unattractive to conventional investors.

Bodnar said Gates and his colleagues were confident that the money they put up would be sufficient to ensure the gap is bridged between federally funded basic research and ready-to-deploy commercial technologies……http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060041571

August 17, 2016 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties, technology, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: