American billionaire and business magnate Bill Gates is leading a team of other billionaires to launch a $1 billion fund dubbed –Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The initiative is meant to fund new technologies that will drastically lower carbon emissions while also ensuring “everyone has access to the clean, affordable, and reliable energy they need to thrive”.
Some of the 28 billionaire backers of Breakthrough Energy Ventures are -Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma and mutual fund giant Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson. They act as venture capitalists enabling innovative companies to deliver cheap and reliable clean energy to the world.
Amongst the startups who have enjoyed support from the billionaires in developing green technology innovations, is Arnergy, a Nigerian solar energy startup that provides solar and renewable energy solutions in Nigeria.
In a move to address the erratic power supply in Nigeria, Femi Adeyemo, an entrepreneur with a Computer Engineering degree from Ladoke Akintola University, floated Arnergy.
Arnergy leases and sells solar energy systems—bulky cabinet-size apparatuses on wheels fitted with solar panels and batteries that essentially serve as solar-powered generators. The technical gear is accompanied by a software platform that allows clients to monitor and control their energy usage in real time.
Speaking on his innovation, Adeyemo said: “Here, it’s not a function of ‘It’s good for the climate’ alone—it’s also even good for the pockets.”
He further stressed that Arnergy’s systems allow businesses in countries like Nigeria to pay for clean energy at the same price as traditional fossil-fuel sources. “Each of our 5-kilowatt modular systems are displacing diesel and petrol generators on a daily basis,” Adeyemo, a former telecommunications engineer who decided to start the business after seeing how the Middle East was using solar energy to power telecom towers, was quoted as saying.
Arnergy’s clients include -Citibank and KPMG, as well as Dangote Industries.
Aside from Arnergy, other beneficiaries of the Gates’ $1 billion fund are -Boston Metal, Lilac Solutions, Pachama, and ZeroAvia.
In an interview with Forbes, where he disclosed why he, alongside his
Gates explained that he and his billionaire friends who floated Breakthrough Energy Venture are “only focused on investments that will have a substantial effect on climate change.”