A group of billionaires like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are investing in two energy storage startups. The hope is that these two startups solve the biggest problems with renewable energy. Their investments of the $1 billion fund, is through Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV).
Launched in 2016, the fund is also supported by LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Hoffman; Alibaba’s CEO, Jack Ma; and David Rubenstein, the executive chairman of the private-equity giant Carlyle Group.
Breakthrough Energy Ventures is willing to forgo returns on investments for up to 20 years. This will give scientists and engineer’s time to create the world-changing technologies.
Breakthrough Energy Ventures first two investments are with Form Energy and Quidnet Energy, these two startups have developed different ways to store energy.
Quidnet Energy is using water in a genius way, to store energy. Water is pumped into repurposed or unused oil-and-gas wells within shale rock formations using excess electricity.
When the liquid is pumped in, the water fills cracks in the rock, and as a result, creates pressure. In order to generate electricity, Quidnet releases the water. Pent-up pressure is used to run turbines and generate electricity.
Form Energy is taking on a different approach, with people like MIT professor and a former Tesla engineer among its leadership, they are working on making a super-efficient battery that could store large amounts of energy for long periods of time.
Their costs are generally determined by how much it costs to store a kilowatt-hour of energy. The goal is to create a battery technology that cost’s as little as $10 per kWh, today the cheapest batteries cost about $200 per kWh.
Both of these companies are on track for big changes in the world. They have the potential to bring down the cost of electric vehicles while extending their range and make it more cost-effective to power homes with solar energy.
With the amount of talent backing these two start-ups something good will come, to help us for years to come.
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