Significant advances in fusion energy research in recent years have helped set aside the typical storyline that fusion—long considered the “Holy Grail” of energy—is “always 40 years away.” Instead, as we have highlighted in prior blog posts, fusion innovators are receiving millions of dollars in public and private funds to support near term deployment and testing (i.e., around the next decade). These innovators are supported by the likes of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and its investment arm Breakthrough Energy Ventures, large venture capitalists, and major energy companies. As the industry has started to come into its own and looks towards testing and commercialization, last Friday a group of sixteen leading fusion ventures joined together to launch the Fusion Industry Association (“FIA”).
The FIA hopes to move the discussion of fusion energy into the mainstream. The FIA has three specific goals, particularly focused on getting governments and the private sector to recognize the benefits of investing in and supporting the technology.
- Partner with Governments for Applied Fusion Research similar to what has been done to support other innovative energy and aerospace technologies.
- Drive Financial Support to help accelerate demonstration of fusion technologies, particularly leveraging public-private partnership models.
- Ensure Regulatory Certainty and appropriate regulation given the immense safety benefits the technology promises.
The members of the FIA propose very different fusion technologies, each with their own benefits and challenges. Their coming together around a core set of goals can help make for more effective participation in the national and global energy policy discussion. We look forward to following the development of this emerging industry.
For more about the emerging fusion energy industry, please contact the authors.