Bill Gates Argues For Government-Backed Energy Technologies

The new Bill Gates, the one with time on his hands and billions in his pockets, is busy fighting for the environment. His latest salvo, outlined in a Washington Post editorial, includes the creation of the American Energy Innovation Council.

The ambitious organisation, founded with help from DuPont CEO Charles Holliday, is a body that will promote, fund and otherwise assist with researching clean energy technologies. If you know anything about government spending, as Gates and Holliday seem to, you know that there are, shall we say, certain spending discrepancies. Mainly, that big-ass guns trump solar panels any day of the week:

"Despite talk about the need for '21st century' energy sources, federal spending on clean energy research is also relatively small. The U.S. government annually spends less than $US3 billion - compared with roughly $US30 billion annually on health research and $US80 billion on defence research and development," the two men wrote in the Post.

The American Energy Innovation Council website is a bit Spartan at the moment, so no one really knows what new clean energy ideas Gates and company are going to bring to the table. Nevertheless, the council is reportedly courting all sorts of bright scientific minds to the cause, and tangibles are promised within "months".

Knowing Gates and his TED talks, the big fix may very well be mosquito-powered. [Washington Post via Wired]