Nuclear fusion is an old promise of clean, infinite energy. The energy produced by the Sun is difficult to reproduce on Earth. Will it end up being a reality?
It is often said that fusion is the future of energy. And, according to skeptics, it seems that it will always be that way. This skeptical perception is not completely unfounded: over the decades, Fusion has promised an uninterrupted supply of carbon-free energy, but technical challenges have kept this promise just out of reach..
The energy that powers the sun and stars comes from nuclear fusion. It is a process that combines two light atomic nuclei to form a heavier one, releasing immense amounts of energy.
But replicating stellar conditions on Earth has been a titanic effort. Temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees and high-tech confinements are required to sustain the process.
The challenge is monumental. However, despite the obstacles, a recent article by MIT Technology Review, advocate for non-surrender. Indeed, there is a renewed spark of optimism, fueled by recent advances at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. For the first time, they achieved more energy from a fusion reaction than was input, a crucial milestone.
Private sector shows interest in fusion energy
Despite this progress, the path to commercially viable fusion energy remains uncertain. While gargantuan projects like ITER, an international collaborative effort, have faced delays and mounting costs, there has been growing interest from the private sector, which could push it forward.
Fusion power is not just a matter of energy generation. It is a potentially powerful tool against climate change. It’s the perfect combination to tackle climate change: 24-hour energy, zero carbon emissions. Is the merger just around the corner? Not yet. But with each advance, the eternal promise seems a little less distant.