- Scientists have been working on nuclear fusion technology since the 1950s
- The latest wave of infusion of cash into fusion startups has already exceeded the $1.9 billion in total that was previously announced
Theoretically, two lone nuclear reactors running on small pellets could power the entire planet, safely and cleanly. That’s the promise of nuclear fusion. So, why are we still relying on fossil fuels? What’s stopping us from building these reactors everywhere?
After all, scientists have been working on nuclear fusion technology since the 1950s and have always been optimistic that the final breakthrough is not far away. Yet, milestones have fallen time and again and now the running joke is that a practical nuclear fusion power plant could still be decades away.
Well, several startups have been setting up shop to battle the kinky laws of physics that have so far prevented nuclear fusion from becoming a practical source of energy on our planet.
But none has managed to inspire as much investor enthusiasm as Commonwealth Fusion Systems. The Massachusetts-based fusion startup has just snagged more than $1.8 billion in the largest private investment for nuclear fusion yet from a plethora of big-name investors, including Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates, George Soros via his Soros Fund Management LLC and venture capitalist John Doerr.
Commonwealth Fusion System is in good company.
On Nov. 5, Helion Energy announced that it had raised $500 million in its latest fundraising round, making it the second-largest-ever single fundraising round for a private fusion firm. Helion has a chance to surpass Commonwealth Fusion System since its latest round of funding includes an additional $1.7 billion tied to certain performance milestones. Meanwhile, Canada’s General Fusion this week closed a $130 million fundraising round that was oversubscribed, the company’s Chief Executive Christofer Mowry has revealed. General Fusion plans to launch a larger fundraising effort next year.
The latest wave of infusion of cash into fusion startups has already exceeded the $1.9 billion in total that was previously announced, according to data tracked by the Fusion Industry Association and the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority.
“It’s a sign of the industry growing up,” Mr. Mowry has told the Wall Street Journal. oil price
Comment: I know a lot of you simply discount all this, but IMO that is a mistake. pl