Addendum : Message To UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres : Addendum
Investment in private fusion companies has more than doubled in the past year and eight new companies have been founded, bringing the total to around 33.
Section of the cover of the Fusion Industry Association's new report.
FUSION INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
The Global Fusion Industry in 2022 is the second annual survey from the Fusion Industry Association (FIA), this year supported by Trinomics as part of a European Commission-funded study on fusion energy development worldwide. The survery aims to build a directory of fusion energy businesses and provide a periodic update on the sector. This year, 33 private companies developing commercial fusion took part - up from 23 last year - including all of the industry’s most advanced players.
Eight new fusion companies have been founded since the last report, a sign of the industry’s rapid growth and investor confidence. Six companies have now each raised over $200m in total, with notable investments in the last year including over $1.8 billion for Commonwealth Fusion Systems and $500m for Helion Energy, allowing them to develop pilot plants to demonstrate fusion electricity.
The huge step up in investment, coupled with increasing government support for fusion in the U.K. and the U.S., is increasing confidence within the fusion industry.
Andrew Holland, Chief Executive Officer of the Fusion Industry Association, states in the report, “We must not see a ‘competition’ between publicly funded and privately funded fusion approaches; instead, we must build real partnerships. As the private sector builds the power plants, governments will need to build the infrastructure and train the workforce that enable the fusion energy revolution.”
These moves are pushing up the confidence around the timescales in which fusion power will become a reality. More than 93% of the survey respondents—all people working in private fusion companies—now believe that fusion power will first be on the grid by the 2030s, up from 83% last year. Moreover, 84% think a fusion plant will demonstrate a low enough cost and high enough efficiency to be considered commercially viable in the same timeframe.
The new facility, named UNITY: Unique Integrated Testing Facility, will test both the heat extraction and fuel cycle systems required for fusion power plants in a single facility.
Alongside the high growth in the private fusion sector, construction of the largest fusion experimental device in the world, ITER, is well underway in the South of France. (See pictures of construction progress on their website.) This project, a worldwide collaborative effort, is the focus of the majority of the publicly-funded research effort globally has been a great stimulus to the fusion supply chain as well as growing the fusion knowledge base.