Reporting from Santa Barbara —
At a conference for green investors, Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates said that research funding for clean energy needs to at least double in order to see a viable, investor-attractive source of clean energy to reduce carbon emissions.
But Gates was not optimistic that the innovation would come anytime soon, saying that the United States and other countries do not adequately fund research and don't encourage experimentation by entrepreneurs.
Gates also said the likelihood of meeting clean-energy goals in the next few decades is "very daunting."
It's "difficult ... to change the energy system," Gates said at a conference in Santa Barbara. "The notion that the sector ... will be 50% non-hydrocarbons in 50 years is not possible."
The obstacle, he said, is that it takes years, sometimes decades, for ideas to translate to viable innovation.
His remarks capped a daylong slate of panelists at the Wall Street Journal's annual ECO:nomics conference, which gathers business leaders to discuss environmental policy, clean energy and business.