A very inspirational and thought-provoking event happened yesterday (Tuesday, 18th October 2022) as the Science Museum, London; opened its doors to host Fusion22.
This was the opportunity for academics, private and public industry experts, enthusiasts and suppliers to get together, and share stories and ambitions as we all work towards a common goal. The prospect of sustainable, clean and ‘infinite’ energy can help towards solving the global warming crisis that we all face.
As Professor Mark Maslin (UCL) put it, with 80% of energy still produced by fossil fuels and the electricity demand only increasing, we need to find adequate energy sources to replace fossil fuels long term.
The benefits of Fusion Energy over other energy sources are clear. Unlike its Nuclear counterpart, Fusion creates no long-term, radioactive waste. There is no risk of a meltdown, and as Nick Hawker (CEO, of First Light Fusion) put it, ‘with Fusion power, you can figuratively close the gate, and it will create sustainable power”.
For those that missed this special event, we have broken it down into four key areas:
1. We are working towards the same goal
There are varying approaches to achieving Fusion power. They may have different approaches and methodologies, but they all work towards the same goal. Valerie Jameson (Development Manager, The Fusion Cluster) illustrated the great work, exciting breakthroughs and collaboration we are witnessing globally. Talented minds from all over the world have been working together on the ITER project.
2. There is movement in the sector
The Fusion sector is going through a period of change as it looks to move from a science-based environment to an industrial project. Ross Morgan (Tokamak Energy) illustrated one of the key issues we face: the need for our supply chain to drastically improve. In all areas, Fusion will look to largely and industrially scale up. Operational power plants are no longer a distant dream. To hit the 2050 Paris pledge, Fusion will need to scale at a new industrial pace.
3. Investment levels are increasing
Investment in Fusion technology is diversifying. Ever since Bloomberg gave the Fusion market a potential valuation of $40 trillion, it is no wonder the Fusion sector has started to be seen as a serious and viable business venture. White papers and regulations being implemented only illustrate how serious the UK and US governments are taking Fusion. VC Funders, High Net worth individuals and corporate investors are all keen to add Fusion technology to their business portfolios.
4. Fusion needs people
Finding the right talent is hard! As we move from physics to industrial engineering-based opportunities, attraction and retention are as demanding as ever. Thankfully, you do not necessarily need to have a PHD to work in Fusion. Scott Hsu (US Department of Energy) concluded we need to attract and build talent across the entire pipeline.
The exciting news is that we are in a unique position. Greg Willets (VP of Operations, Jacobs) eloquently said ‘we can make Fusion how we want it to be. The right culture, right diversity, and opportunities for all’. The building blocks are here, but we still have our challenges to overcome. We have a target of achieving Net Zero by 2050, however, that is just the beginning.
If you are looking for talent to help change the world through fusion, get in touch.