What does a world look like with unlimited clean electricity?
Dr. David Kirtley, CEO
One question I am often asked is how fusion changes our future once its connected to the grid. Fusion, which would provide virtually limitless low-cost energy whenever and wherever it’s needed, unlocks an insurmountable amount of opportunity for the world. Admittedly, though, when I get asked this question, I always feel like my answer comes up short.
I talk about things like electric transportation.
With fusion, our bid to electrify the cars we drive and the buses we ride becomes much easier. The electricity used to charge electric vehicles should come from renewable and clean energy sources to maximize our impact in the fight against carbon emissions in the sector. Alongside wind, solar, and batteries, fusion becomes a key player in this transition by offering always-on dispatchable power.
I mention fusion’s role in providing more clean water.
Because fusion can generate vast amounts of low-cost energy, it can be used to improve the water desalination process. Fusion-powered desalination plants could improve efficiency and reduce costs, making this technology more accessible and sustainable for places facing water scarcity. I talk about my years in the southwest, where droughts are prevalent.
I discuss ideas around decentralized power.
Fusion technology offers the potential for distributed energy production, reducing the need for extensive centralized infrastructure. This could make it easier to deploy clean energy in areas with limited infrastructure, fostering the growth in new sectors in diverse geographical regions. I like to think about places like the island of Bermuda, where I spent some of my childhood, that could benefit largely from a decentralized power source to deliver energy to family homes and cell towers, helping do away with polluting fossil fuel generators.
And I talk about fusion’s role in advancing new technologies, like Artificial Intelligence, which enables opportunities beyond what’s currently known. Because its fuel source, deuterium, is readily available and relatively inexpensive, fusion power can be very low cost. This enables high-compute power, which helps accelerate new research and advancements across the software and hardware industries.
The reason it feels like my answer comes up short is because fusion has the power to change the world in a dramatically positive way. It will unlock advances in electric transportation, water desalination, decentralized power, and AI. But it will also create new opportunities for technology and society that we can’t yet predict. There will be new things discovered, new technologies developed, new ways to communicate, and new ways to travel (on earth and beyond), with the help of fusion. On top of that development, fusion, alongside renewables, helps humanity in our fight against climate change, by weaning us off fossil fuels that we have so vehemently depended on for far too long.
I am enormously excited by the potential of fusion and am so glad to be part of its rapid development. What we are doing, I believe, will make a huge, positive impact on the world, even if we don’t know all the ways it will do so just yet.