What do Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman all have in common?
Other than being some of the richest men in the world, these technology giants have made sizable contributions of their wealth to a $1 billion venture fund that promises to solve some of the most gaping holes remaining in the transition toward 100 percent renewable energy independence.
Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) announced in 2017 that energy storage would be a priority for future investments. And now, as of Tuesday June 12, two new startups have received initial funding: Form Energy and Quidnet Energy.
BEV is unique by design because it is based on a mission to provide “patient design.” This is an innovative model where investment funds are willing to forgo any type of return for up to 20 years in order to give scientists and engineers ample time to develop their ideas into market ready products.
Both Form Energy and Quidnet Energy are both dedicated to solving one of the most pressing bottleneck problems for the green energy movement which is how to store and utilize any excess of renewable energy prodcued. Quidnet suggests using excess electricity to pump water into shale rock formations (those found as part of unused oil and gas wells) and filling cracks to form pressure. When the pressure is released, the energy produced can power turbines and produce new electricity as needed.
Form Energy is headed by an MIT professor that is attempting to design a super-efficient battery capable of holding large amounts of energy for long periods of time. The cost of a battery is determined by the actual cost to store energy per kilowatt-hour. Form Energy is determined to create a battery at a cost of $10 per kWh, while the current low end for a battery remains around $200 per kWh. A cheaper battery decreases the cost of solar installations and electric vehicles.
We applaud the ambition of these start-up companies with the intention of revolutionizing clean energy and changing the world. We also applaud the benefactors that have put their money where their respective mouths are, making funds like BEV possible and innovations a reality.
Source: Business Insider