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Gates gets serious about renewables, tells governments to focus on basic R&D

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has urged governments to channel more resources into basic R&D on renewable energy, after pledging to double his own investment.

In an interview with the Financial Times published on 25 June, Gates said that governments should move more of their funding for renewables into basic research. "Most of the people you talk to would say that we should double or triple the amount of renewables R&D,” he said, adding that government subsidies for renewables amounted to more than $100 billion (£64bn), with only $6bn invested in related R&D.

Gates added that he planned to double his investment in green technology to $2bn over the next five years. He has directly invested in 15 companies and indirectly in another thirty, and said that “over the next five years, there’s a good chance that will double”.

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