Making a case for fusion

The world is more than wealthy enough to accept what science and logic would advise, which is to warmly support a range of approaches to fusion. ~Scott L. Montgomery is an author, geoscientist, and affiliate faculty member in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.

Scott L. Montgomery authored the article “Why Nuclear Fusion is Gaining Steam – Again” earlier this year for ‘The Conversation’, a website which features scientific information for the general public. In his article, Montgomery discusses the trials and tribulations associated with achieving fusion energy on Earth. He talks about scientific and engineering breakthroughs and puts the catchy claims of the latest fusion start-ups into perspective. He also speaks out in favour of increased funding for fusion research. In the June Fusion in Europe issue he delves deeper into the topic for the Fuel for Thought series.

How much is energy worth to society?

In the piece, Montgomery gives perspective on energy expenses: "How much is energy worth to society? Today, we have a system of extracting and using fossil fuels valued about $30 trillion dollars. Add to this, another $2.5 trillion for 450 fission reactors and a bit more on top for hydropower. Since 2000, a sum of nearly $4 trillion has been invested in wind and solar power, propelled by concerns about climate change. The total sum therefore seems vast. Yet it is less than the combined Gross Domestic Product of the five richest nations for one year, 2017. The US alone was at $18 trillion. In short, there is no lack of wealth to invest in energy systems to power the modern world."

If science be our guide and logic our muse, there should never have been much to question about the energy future, except when it might arrive.