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Bill Gates Wants In On Congress’ Big Climate Infrastructure Push

If the bipartisan infrastructure bill moves forward, Bill Gates says his climate investment fund will match $1.5 billion in government funds and put that money towards projects that are developing green technologies. The Verge reports: Breakthrough Energy, Gates’ climate fund, laid out four different uses for the money: developing green hydrogen fuels, sustainable aviation fuels, energy storage, and technologies that take carbon dioxide out of the air. It said on Twitter that the money could “fast-track” commercial demonstration projects across the US. “Critical for all these climate technologies is to get the costs down and to be able to scale them up to a pretty gigantic level,” Gates told The Wall Street Journal, which was the first to report on the announcement. “You’ll never get that scale up unless the government’s coming in with the right policies, and the right policy is exactly what’s in that infrastructure bill.”

The funding depends on whether a bipartisan infrastructure package ultimately becomes law. The bill still needs to pass the House after it passed in the Senate earlier this week. The package includes $25 billion for the Department of Energy for public-private partnerships, The Wall Street Journal reports. If the bill becomes law, Breakthrough Energy can apply for matching funds. If the bill fails, Breakthrough Energy could funnel its $1.5 billion toward projects in Europe and Asia instead, The Wall Street Journal says. Breakthrough Energy tweeted that it wants to work with the Energy Department to spur up to $15 billion in investments in technologies that might be able to help the US bring its carbon dioxide emissions down to net-zero. “Both Breakthrough Energy and the Biden administration have prioritized developing so-called ‘direct air capture’ tech,” adds The Verge. “The infrastructure package includes $3.5 billion for four proposed regional hubs across the US, each with the ability to capture at least 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually (about as much as 120,000 US homes might generate from their energy use in a year). There’s billions more in funding in the bill to build out a new network of pipelines and storage for captured CO2.”

The report also notes that there’s “$8 billion in the bipartisan infrastructure package to develop four regional hubs for ‘clean hydrogen,’ another focus of Breakthrough Energy’s work.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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