Bill Gates wants more money for energy research

Bill Gates wants to put a new light on the future of energy research in the US. News.com reports that Microsoft's chairman has written a new editorial in the latest print issue of Science magazine, where he launches a movement to convince the federal government to put more money into the study of future energy resources.

The amount of money in the federal budget for energy research is current at $5 billion a year, but that number represents a drop of 75 percent in funding for this research in the past 30 years by the federal government. Gates believes that US lawmakers should decide to increase that amount by over three times its current amount, to $16 billion a year.

In his editorial, Gates wrote, "In a time of economic crisis, asking policymakers in Washington, D.C., to spend more money might not be the most popular position. But it's essential to protect America's national interests and ensure that the United States plays a leading role in the fast-growing global clean energy industry."

While Gates has spent a lot of his Microsoft money on other causes, such as education in the US and helping to stop the spread of diseases in third world countries, he has also put in some of his money in energy related companies. One of them is called TerraPower, which is aiming to recycle the waste generated from conventional nuclear plants as fuel.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Facebook testing Messenger and Ticker client for Windows

Next Story

Fired Windows Phone evangelist sails into Google territory

32 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Then let him spend it himself! Tax payers are f'ing BROKE! All these elite want us bankrupt as a country so they can sink us into a new world order.

xpclient said,
Lately he's been obsessed with energy. Prior to that it was mosquitoes.

Just wait till next year when they release Energy Mosquitoes that make everyone diabetic.

Bill, use your OWN d*mn money!
This country could have hundreds of years of its own energy if it wasn't bowing over backwards to the (insert your own group), & PC crowd.
The liberals/socialists/earth first crowds have polluted the discussions, along with pretty much brain washing the youth at an early age that if we extract one drop of anything from the earth, "Flipper" will die.

All the energy in and on this planet comes in one way or another from the sun. Our scratches into the surface of harnessing direct solar power are become deeper and deeper gouges.

It makes no sense to waste money on energy that's been trapped and bound into a material form when we can go get it straight from the source.

supersaiyanjericho said,
I've never seen Bill ask the government for money. Now, i am disappointed in him.

He's not asking for it himself, he's basically lobbying for the energy industry as a well-known face. Energy is a booming industry that the government doesn't want to even consider since they're tightly wrapped around oil's finger.

OrangeFTW said,

He's not asking for it himself, he's basically lobbying for the energy industry as a well-known face. Energy is a booming industry that the government doesn't want to even consider since they're tightly wrapped around oil's finger.

even worst

i never saw Bill as a cronyism supporrter.

supersaiyanjericho said,

even worst

i never saw Bill as a cronyism supporrter.

Are you daft? He is already investing in clean energy resources but can't do it himself and is requesting that the government shift more money to the clean energy research budget. Guess who benefits from the end result of this research? Us, our children, and who do you think will fill the jobs of maintaining and building new clean energy technologies if we lead the charge? Exactly, so stop bashing Bill Gates for making a smart move that'll also help this country's future.

Side note: When the government can spend 750 Billion+ ("the Department of Defense's direct spending on Iraq totaled at least $757.8 billion"; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...f_the_Iraq_War#Direct_costs) on the Iraq war, they can easily set aside more than $5 Billion for energy research.

Edited by Squirrelington, Nov 22 2011, 3:12pm :

This is a good thing but with that decision the stupid government will raise our taxes(they are already too high so give us a break) and force the little guy to pay out more(it's always been this way and it won't change) and the big guy will not get taxed(that is flippin stupid), Instead, ask the flippin but stupid rich buggers(they can easily afford to pay) to pay. These rich buggers need to loose some of their wealth and give the smaller guys a huge break like the stupid big dummies get then all would be fine. Hey Bill, i support you n all but asking the government for help is not the way to do it as it hurts the small guy(we are already hurtin enough as it is) but instead, go ask the flippin billionaires for that 16 bill that you want. To them, 16 bill is nothing. There, i am done my ranting for now.

soldier1st said,
This is a good thing but with that decision the stupid government will raise our taxes(they are already too high so give us a break) and force the little guy to pay out more(it's always been this way and it won't change) and the big guy will not get taxed(that is flippin stupid), Instead, ask the flippin but stupid rich buggers(they can easily afford to pay) to pay. These rich buggers need to loose some of their wealth and give the smaller guys a huge break like the stupid big dummies get then all would be fine. Hey Bill, i support you n all but asking the government for help is not the way to do it as it hurts the small guy(we are already hurtin enough as it is) but instead, go ask the flippin billionaires for that 16 bill that you want. To them, 16 bill is nothing. There, i am done my ranting for now.

....How old are you?
Also:
http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires
$56 billion in net worth. $16 billion is not small change to them.

soldier1st said,
This is a good thing but with that decision the stupid government will raise our taxes(they are already too high so give us a break)
You need to stop listening to the propaganda from the Republican party. The level of tax as a percentage of GDP is the lowest it has been in over half a century and is lower than any other western country, while military spending is higher as a percentage than any other country. Meanwhile the tax burden has shifted from the rich - who can easily afford it - to the middle to lower classes.

Rather than cutting taxes they need to be redistributed. The US currently spends $2.7BN per year on foreign aid to Israel - a country with a population of 7 million. That works out to $385 per person. Much of that money goes directly to armaments, which are used to continue their apartheid against the Palestinian people. Meanwhile, $60BN went missing in Iraq/Afghanistan that was meant for redevelopment. Imagine how far that $60BN would have gone if it was spent in the US!

Bill please stfu, if you want to fund some energy research then fund it yourself (or with a group of your friends) like you have with the terrapower investment etc, you'll get far more bang for the bunk that way.

knighthawk said,
Bill please stfu, if you want to fund some energy research then fund it yourself (or with a group of your friends) like you have with the terrapower investment etc, you'll get far more bang for the bunk that way.

I highly doubt even Bill has 16billion to give away every year...

funkydude said,

I highly doubt even Bill has 16billion to give away every year...

Nah instead he's advocating the government to confiscate more of it from myself to do something that in general private industry would do (if they saw actual value in it) more efficiently.

knighthawk said,

Nah instead he's advocating the government to confiscate more of it from myself to do something that in general private industry would do (if they saw actual value in it) more efficiently.

They dont see value in it because oil and other non clean energy sources are currently so heavily subsidised by the US govt that clean alternatives dont have a chance. That subsidy btw is far greater than $15 billion so go whine about that.

knighthawk said,

Nah instead he's advocating the government to confiscate more of it from myself to do something that in general private industry would do (if they saw actual value in it) more efficiently.

Except that industry's R&D spending, particularly in the US, isn't very high. The investment is too uncertain and long term for our financial overlords. Most scientific discoveries are made on the back of federal grants, not industry sponsorship.

Besides, I think Mr. Gates might know a thing or two about business and investing that you don't.

seriously. politicians continue to fail us with infighting. time to let a business man take a crack at the budget; one that has a heart for people (seemingly a rarity of the breed).

vip said,
we can't even pay our own bills, yet he is wanting more money to do research

In that case cut funding of the military, social security, health care, emergency services etc.

Yeah, not a good idea. Think before you speak.

vip said,
we can't even pay our own bills, yet he is wanting more money to do research

It's got nothing to do with you paying bills, its got to do with how well the government manages and slices cash flows.

funkydude said,

It's got nothing to do with you paying bills, its got to do with how well the government manages and slices cash flows.


You are wrong, what vip said is the honest truth. i am sorry that you do not see it that way.

vip said,
we can't even pay our own bills, yet he is wanting more money to do research

And what's wrong with research? The biggest and best innovations come out of expensive research like, for example, the internet.

Businesses don't have much incentive to research anymore. I say leave it to government to fund research and find better ways to do things then sell the idea/process to businesses.

soldier1st said,

You are wrong, what vip said is the honest truth. i am sorry that you do not see it that way.

I'm sorry, what?! Fair enough if you have misguided views but dont be so cocky about them as to call other people wrong for having differing ones. You clearly havn't thought past "I can't pay my bills. Need more money!".

Now let me explain to you with reasoned arguments why you are most probably wrong.

Spending stimulates the economy... Hence the stimulus plan! More money in this sector means more jobs. The clean energy sector is only likely to grow in coming years so this is a good place to invest.

$5 billion is an extremely small sum of money to be spending on something so important. When you consider how much is spent on wars and a hundred other things that the US govt spends their money on you see how small a slice of the pie clean energy really gets.

Think next time.. Then type.

vip said,
we can't even pay our own bills, yet he is wanting more money to do research
US military spending is obscene, with most of the money being used to wage wars over... energy (read: oil). It makes complete sense to redirect that money to clean energy research.

The UK currently provides subsidies for solar energy and will be introducing the Renewable Heat Incentive early next year. Meanwhile Eon is investing in Germany to convert solar energy into hydrogen which will added to the natural gas pipeline. And Denmark already generates 1/5th of its electricity from wind turbines. Renewable is the future and the US can't afford to be left behind.