Fusion energy, unviable until recently, finally seems to be emerging as the energy industry looks for cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels.
FREMONT, CA: When mastered, fusion energy could solve energy scarcity and become a major source of clean energy. The development of fusion energy has been slow, owing to limitations in technologies. The concept of fusion has been around for a long time now, but the systems that could successfully carry out fusion to generate energy are yet to be optimally developed. However, the recent spurt in demand for clean energy alternatives has pushed governments, as well as companies into a race, which could finally bring about the commercialization of fusion energy. Right now, work is on to build nuclear reactors that will be central to fusion energy. There have been varying degrees of success, resulting in widespread speculation about when nuclear fusion energy will make it to that market.
Nuclear energy that is used currently is derived from the fission of particles. Although effective, nuclear power plants have faced criticism due to the amount of radioactive waste generated in the process and the resulting hazards. Nuclear fusion presents no such challenges. This makes nuclear fusion energy an exciting prospect.
Today, many established companies, as well as startups, are focused on finding the much-awaited breakthrough that could successfully initiate the commercialization of fusion energy. Many of the challenges originally associated with the production of fusion energy have already been overcome with the help of advanced supercomputers that have successfully optimized fusion reactor designs. There have been advances in the fabrication of fusion materials. More such leads can be expected from the expert researchers committed to the cause. Once any of the groups working to develop fusion energy systems are able to demonstrate successful energy production, massive amounts of funds will flow in immediately.
Right now, many of the labs face a fund crunch. Despite that, there are chances of successful demonstrations in five to ten years. Once fusion energy becomes cost-effective, there will be a massive disruption in the energy market, and the dynamics are expected to shift in the favor of countries and companies that attain expertise in fusion energy generation.