Bill Gates Has Added A Geothermal Startup To His Clean Energy Fund’s First Bets

Bill Gates’s $1 billion clean energy fund just opened up its checkbook for the first time. Breakthrough Energy Ventures will announce today it’s investing in a host of startups developing technology that can confront the growing dangers of climate change.

Among the first selected was a startup in Berkeley, California, that is applying fracking techniques to the geothermal industry in the hope of converting far more of the planet’s latent heat into a source of clean energy.

If Fervo Energy’s technologies work as intended, they could enable existing geothermal sites to boost electricity production, or allow entirely new areas to tap into heat within the earth’s crust. Increasing geothermal generation could ease the broader shift to cleaner energy systems, because it can provide always-on power or ramp-up as needed, unlike variable wind and solar farms.