The form of energy that caught my eye originally was nuclear fusion, and more specifically this energy source on a global scale. I had previously not thought this was very feasible and it led me to want to investigate if there have been any new breakthroughs since the last time that I had heard about it. The idea of breaking apart an atom had always seemed like something not possible to be created synthetically by scientists, but after researching on the global scale i was very surprised by what I found.
According to the credible source, The Guardian and a US initiative, they now believe that it will be incorporated into the power grid within the next 15 years which over halves the original period of time that was believed possible. The project believes that they can transform the large and extremely expensive project into one of commercial possibility for national use. This would be a massive increase in energy production with a much smaller amount of resources. The major key to their upcoming proposed success falls on the use of superconductors that can produce more energy than the amount needed to create the reaction in the first place. That is the first major issue, the amount of energy needed to create a fusion reaction would be larger than the amount coming from the process, making it a non sustainable source and not commercially appealing. This would not draw the attention of those which we have looked at who address the financials with the processes used to create and use energy. If no one is appealed then there would not be noticable funding and further research since the process does not seem to make sense financially nor with resource use. Interestingly enough the leader of the private company heading this charge , Bob Memgaard of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, is quoted saying, “The aspiration is to have a working power plant in time to combat climate change. We think we have the science, speed and scale to put carbon-free fusion power on the grid in 15 years.”(The Guardian)
The company has already been able to attract over 50 million dollars in funding from just one Italian company in hopes of its completion. If the promise is completed the world would be able to utilize a, “zero-carbon, combustion-free source of energy.“(The Guardian) This would be an incredible help to the world’s issue of pollution around sources of power.
Overall, the process is fascinating. The power and heat emitted is a tremendous amount by pulsing in 10 second intervals after forging two hydrogen atoms together creating enough energy to power a small city. It is honestly a mind boggling project that would alter the entire world’s ideas behind creating energy.
Prior to reading your post, I knew nothing about nuclear fusion. I found this post to be very interesting, and I think that the superconductors sound like they would be incredibly effective for environmental sustainability. How environmentally friendly is the practice of nuclear fusion? Is it cost effective? How would nuclear fusion help combat climate change specifically?
Going along with Emily’s comment above, I had very similar thoughts and questions regarding nuclear fusion. Prior to reading this post, I also had no clue what nuclear fusion was, or how it impacted our environment in relation to other environmentally conscious energy resources. My questions were very similar to Emily’s, as I was also curious as to just how cost effective it is, and just how environmentally friendly the practice of nuclear fusion would be?