Is Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Coalition a Success for Green Energy?

by Deedee Chao

Right before the UN COP21 climate talks in Paris in December, Bill Gates announced the formation of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, comprised of 28 billionaires that would commit to investing in clean energy technologies. While this looks like an important step forward for the future of green energy, critics have pointed out a number of issues with the Coalition. For example, Fortune’s Dan Primack calls the Coalition a “work in progress” as it lacks any investment fund professionals, pledges by the billionaires involved, or a decided financial structure [http://fortune.com/2015/12/01/bill-gates-clean-energy-plan-isnt-ready-for-primetime/]. Two months later, no hiring, pledges, or news of any sort has been revealed- and the lack of pledges could be a cause for concern, as some of the “investors” have no track record in supporting green energy or environmentalism of any kind. Continue reading

Determinants of Technology Innovation in the Transportation Sector: Oil Endowments

by Russell Salazar

The development of energy-efficient technologies is becoming increasingly necessary in a warming world. How can countries encourage firms and individuals to innovate more eco-friendly technologies in an effective manner? Kim (2014) takes a closer look at the socio-economic motivators for the development of energy-efficient technologies, with a primary focus on the transportation sector. The study presents empirical evidence to support the claim that smaller oil endowments result in a greater incentive for the development of more eco-friendly vehicles and energy-efficient designs. These findings, combined with explanations from related economic theory, provide insight into potential sustainability schemes for policy makers around the world. Continue reading