Over the past few years several experts have prompted the United States government to increase efforts to research new sources of energy. Tomorrow a group of business executives plan to release a study regarding the effects of this lack of research, and as this article from NY Times.com explains, they also plan to prompt the federal government to triple the amount of money being spent on energy research.
The group, which includes Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft; Jeffrey R. Immelt, chief executive of General Electric; and John Doerr, a top venture capitalist, urges the government to more than triple spending on energy research and development, to $16 billion a year. And it recommends creation of a national energy board to guide investment decisions toward radical advances in energy technology.
Mr. Gates said in an interview that drastic changes were needed in the way the United States produced and consumed energy to assure its security and to begin to address climate change. He endorsed the administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, but said that was not possible with today’s technology or politics.
“Among all the swirl of different ideas of how to raise the money and how to regulate carbon,” he said, “there is no way either in this country or internationally you’re going to come close to meeting an 80 percent reduction unless you have an immense breakthrough.”
He said that the only way to find such disruptive new technology was to pour large sums of money at the problem, with the clear understanding that any number of ventures would fail before the eureka moment arrived.