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‘Bottling the Sun’: is this a new dawn for the fusion industry? (actually – no!)

‘Bottling the Sun’: is this a new dawn for the fusion industry? There are
two good reasons to be very excited about the latest breakthrough in
nuclear fusion technology announced this week. Not only does the generation
of net positive energy in a fusion reaction represent an outstanding
scientific achievement, it also opens up the tantalising possibility of
cheap, green and abundant energy that might put the environmentally ruinous
fossil fuel industry out of business.

But there are also two good reasons
not to be overly excited by the news. Even with a favourable wind, it will
take at least 20 years of development and massive injections of capital
before fusion energy can ever become commercially viable at scale.

Unfortunately, that means it is not likely to arrive quickly enough to
solve the imminent threat of the climate emergency. If so, the question
arises: is the technology worth backing at all if alternative clean energy
sources, such as solar, wind and next-generation nuclear fission, are
already proven and available?

FT 16th Dec 2022


December 18, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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