The partnership would see Breakthrough Energy, founded by Gates, using private capital and philanthropic funds to match funding provided by the EU. The goal is to jointly provide up to 820 million euros, or $ 1 billion, from 2022 to 2026.
Support will target hydrogen produced from renewable energy, sustainable aviation fuels, technology to suck CO2 from the atmosphere and long-lasting energy storage, the Commission said.
These technologies are seen as essential for reducing emissions from sectors like heavy industry and aviation, but remain too expensive to scale without support and compete with cheaper alternatives to fossil fuels.
“Decarbonizing the global economy is the greatest innovation opportunity the world has ever seen,” Gates said in a statement, adding that Europe will play a “critical” role through its climate ambitions and its leadership in science and technology.
“The world cannot wait for technologies to develop on their own,” the Commission said. The EU is committed to eliminating its net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Investments will focus on building large-scale commercial demonstration projects to reduce the cost of technologies.
They will include grants and other financial instruments, with the EU’s contribution from existing funds, notably the bloc’s budget and the EU Innovation Fund, consisting of cash from the sale of permits on the block carbon market.