Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and the EU Commission Support Climate Change Innovations

by | 1. Dec 2023 - 15:24 | Politics

Europe’s largest e-methanol plant and the world’s first CO2 battery receive millions in funding.

The EU Commission and Breakthrough Energy, a venture capital company founded by Bill Gates for climate-friendly technologies, are supporting two European clean-tech projects with a total of 240 million euros: FlagshipONE in Sweden, Europe’s largest e-methanol plant, and Energy Dome in Milan, which has developed a battery without critical raw materials. Gates made the announcement together with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, at the COP28 world climate conference in Dubai on Friday. The support is part of the EU Catalyst Partnership, launched in 2021 by the three parties above. The aim is to promote public and private investment in climate protection technologies and develop corresponding large-scale projects in Europe. According to the EU Commission, up to 840 million euros will be mobilized between 2023 and 2026. The two projects are the first to benefit from this.

FlagshipONE, owned by the Danish energy company Ørsted, will supply green fuel for a climate-friendly shipping industry. With the help of captured biogenic CO2 and renewable hydrogen, around 55,000 tons of e-methanol will be produced annually from 2025. With its great potential for green energy sources such as onshore and offshore wind power, Sweden offers good conditions as a location, writes the International Economic Forum for Renewable Energies.

CO2 also plays a central role in the Italian start-up Energy Dome: in liquefied form, it is used for long-term energy storage. It should, therefore, improve the use of volatile solar and wind energy in particular. According to the developer, the world’s first CO2 battery works without critical raw materials such as lithium. With the support of the EU-Catalyst partnership, the first full-scale CO2 battery energy storage plant will be built in Sardinia.

More innovations: Breakthrough Energy is also supporting the development of another battery technology that addresses the central problem of industrial use of renewable energy and is investing in the promising search for critical raw materials using artificial intelligence.

Photo: iStock/Petmal

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