June 14, 2010

Bill Gates Pushes For More Clean Energy Investments

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, recently urged the US to invest billions of dollars a year to bring on a clean energy revolution that would free it from dependence on oil.

Gates said in an interview with ABC that the disastrous oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico raises the question "how did we get an energy infrastructure that is this fragile?"

Gates called for an $11 billion increase in annual investment in research and development into clean energy technology to $16 billion a year.

"You know, we've got a supply chain where we send a billion dollars a year overseas and you can imagine that there will be disruptions," he said.

"But, in fact, the only real solution is to take American ingenuity and fund R&D to get energy in different forms (so) that we're not sending this much money away and that it's stable and reliable," he said.

On June 9, the American Energy Innovation Council revealed a report calling for a public commitment to fund innovation in clean energy sources, arguing that individual companies are unlikely to make huge investments needed to make new energy sources commercially viable.

However, Gates did acknowledge that the U.S. budget was tight.

"The question is can the energy sector finance its own revolution and create these great R&D jobs here in America?" he told ABC.

"The only way you get those things is through the breakthroughs. And I'm optimistic they're there, but we're not making the investment," Gates said. "Today we spend only about four billion dollars on energy R&D compared to 30 billion dollars on health, 80 billion dollars on defense."


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