Renewables – Entrepreneurs point out the investment potential of green technology.
Inspired by Bill Gates and friends’ decision to plunge $US1 billion into clean energy? Well don’t be put off by the Turnbull government’s December backflip on carbon emissions policy. Good technologies have global markets says Simon Hackett the Internode founder, Tesla electric vehicle collector and now, chief executive and shareholder of battery developer Redflow. Australia is also a great test-bed for solar and wind energy. “It’s not necessarily the end of the world if the Australian environment is not consistent in its support for investments in this space,” Hackett says. He adds that there is a rising number of investors like him who “in the face of desperate disappointment with government policies in this realm are trying to make whatever difference they can”. Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures is backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Virgin founder Richard Branson and Alibaba founder Jack Ma – that’s a huge vote of wealth and business acumen. It’s clear from the group’s website they want to invest in fundamental, breakthrough science. That’s where the big wins – the “10xers” – come from, says Hackett, referring to investments that get you 10 times your money. But anyone aspiring to follow in their footsteps might have to wait a long time for the jackpot they must also adhere to basics.