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Breakthrough Energy Catalyst launches its first global ‘Request for Information’ on emerging climate technology projects


The best decisions are made based upon information that is accurate, comprehensive and up to date. 

That’s why Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, a program of Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy, on 20 September put out a Request for Information (RFI) on the market size and technological status of four key technology sectors whose rapid development in the near-term is crucial to achieving net-zero emissions globally by 2050. 

Entrepreneurs, inventors, researchers and others in the Mission Innovation community who have knowledge of projects involving green hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuel, direct air capture and long-duration energy storage are encouraged to respond to Breakthrough’s RFI by 20 October. More information on the submission process and eligibility requirements for the RFI is available here. 

During a recent interview on Breakthrough Energy CatalystGates reiterated the urgent need for innovation: “Avoiding a climate disaster will require a new industrial revolution,” he said. “Half the technology needed to get to zero emissions either doesn’t exist yet or is too expensive for much of the world to afford. Catalyst is designed to change that and provide an effective way to invest in our clean technology future.” 

Information collected though the RFI will in turn help shape Breakthrough Energy Catalyst’s Request for Proposals (RFPs), which will ultimately steer $3 billion of funding over four years to high-impact projects using a variety of investment vehicles. Overall, Catalyst aims to mobilise up to $10 billion worth of commercial-scale projects designed to demonstrate the viability of emerging climate technologies. 

While responding to the RFI is not required to participate in the RFP processit will be critical to informing the timing, structure and process used by Breakthrough Energy Catalyst to prepare and issue its RFPs, the RFI instructions state. 

The RFI was announced alongside the unveiling of the first seven anchor partners of Breakthrough Energy Catalyst. The list of new partners features major corporations with significant experience in project financing  and in developing and scaling up new technologies, including Bank of America, ArcelorMittal, General Motors and Microsoft. 

Breakthrough Energy Catalyst expects to announce its first formal RFP by the end of this year. 

“By working with [a] growing community of private and public partners, Catalyst will take a global view of the energy innovation landscape – the key technologies, leading-edge companies, financing partners, and pivotal policies – and fund the projects that will have the greatest positive impact for our planet,” Gates said.