The Challenge of Emissions - ZERO Institute keynote invited talk from Breakthrough Energy's Dr Eric Toone

Doors open at 6:00pm for 6:30pm start

Modern prosperity is based on ready access to cheap abundant energy – energy that produces goods and services and moves those goods and services to where they are needed. Today the energy on which our society is based is extracted almost exclusively from a store of carbon-based fossil materials. That extraction results in the production of greenhouse gases, with profound impacts for our planet. The conversion from a fossil economy to an economy based on non-emitting sources of energy is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. It will require tremendous innovation and deployment of that innovation at nearly inconceivable scales, to every corner of the planet. In this talk we consider some of the innovations now on the horizon, areas in need of additional innovation and the challenges imposed by the scale at which this innovation must be deployed.

Dr. Eric Toone leads science, technology, and engineering across the entire Breakthrough Energy platform. As Managing Partner at Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Eric serves on the Investment Committee and is responsible for the overall technical direction of the organization, with responsibilities ranging from thesis development to technical diligence. Dr. Toone is responsible for the Fellows Program at Breakthrough Energy and directs technology diligence at Catalyst and other BE components. Prior to BEV Eric was a member of the faculty of Chemistry at Duke University and is the former Director of DOE’s Advanced Research Program Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).

Originally trained as a bioorganic/physical organic chemist, Eric has long worked in both exploratory science and the translation of that science to practical implementation. At Duke University he authored nearly 300 original papers and abstracts. From 2012 – 2016 he served as Vice Provost and Director of Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. He is also listed as an inventor on over 30 patents and is the founder of three venture backed pharmaceutical companies.