by Stephen Lacey
December 15, 2015

Microsoft founder Bill Gates believes we need an “energy miracle” in order to solve climate change and energy poverty.

His plan: radically ramp up investments in R&D in order to support the clean, high-density energy technologies that will run a high-energy planet. 

To kick off the climate talks in Paris, Gates teamed up with 27 other billionaires who committed their own money to emerging clean energy technologies. He’s also working with 20 governments to increase public R&D spending in the sector.

But many disagree with Gates’ rhetoric around energy miracles. Those more inclined to support deployment of existing technologies believe that he dismisses the business innovations that are currently transforming the electricity system.

This week, we look at why the deployment-versus-innovation debate gets so charged. We’ll also ask if Gates could have framed his arguments differently to facilitate broader agreement.

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Recommended reading:

Ben Gaddy: Deployment Versus Innovation

Jesse Jenkins: On the Importance of Clean Energy Innovation and Deployment

Teryn Norris: How the U.S. Government Could Execute Bill Gates’ Vision for Energy Innovation

Atlantic: ‘We Need an Energy Miracle’