Spotlight: Socio-economic studies on fusion

One facet of EUROfusion's functions that does not get the spotlight often is the work done by the socio-economics studies. So, the June issue of Fusion In Europe will do just that: it carries an interview with Chiara Bustreo, who along with a team of 17 European experts, investigate how society perceives fusion in general.  Here are snippets from the interview, and the complete interview will be published in the June issue of Fusion In Europe

Why do we need Social Economic Studies (SES)?

We identify what has to be done to allow a smooth integration of fusion into society. Fusion has good chances to be the horsepower in the rush towards clean energy production. But, actions must be taken in advance to accommodate the new nuclear fusion technology in the energy market, along with renewables and other carbon-free power plants. Therefore, we simulate different scenarios for both the world and its energy system.

Why does society have to be aware of a technology that comes after 2050?

2100 is indeed really far away, it’s true, but we must consider the inertia of the energy system to changes. Indeed, none of the current power plants will be in operation at the end of this century. For example, it is quite unlikely that future generations will see the cooling towers and chimney stacks of coal-fired power plants. They will see instead a wide land covered by a blanket made of solar panels; or valleys and seas occupied by large wind turbines. Also, the electricity grid will require major updates accommodating the decentralised electricity generation and consumption. If fusion is to be a part of this future energy landscape, we need to act now to create the right conditions for its inclusion. Sudden veers are not allowed in this field!

If fusion is to be a part of this future energy landscape, we need to act now to create the right conditions for its inclusion. Sudden veers are not allowed in this field!

Chiara Bustreo