Transformative fusion technology can help respond to Code RedBlog
7 September 2021

Transformative fusion technology can help respond to Code Red

“Code Red” was the stark headline following the recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and in some cases, irreversible ways, the IPCC reported.

Despite the numerous warnings relating to climate change over recent years, this, I suspect, still came as a further wake up call to many of us.

When I read this combined with the latest coverage of various adverse weather events across the globe, I worry for my children and their children beyond.

We are all custodians of this world in which we live. We have been passed some of the current challenges by previous generations, but we also have an immense responsibility to our descendants – our future generations.

What will each of us do, to make a difference?

While the IPCC report was bleak, I know that humankind has the ability to find a solution – provided we collectively have the resolve, sense of urgency and determination to meet the challenges before us.

Ignoring the issue, pretending that we already have solutions in hand, hoping it will go away, or that it will be someone else’s problem is not an option.

I believe that technology, which is within our grasp, fundamentally holds the key to opening the door to a more sustainable future for all of us.

At Tokamak Energy we are pioneering commercial fusion energy, which is cheap and globally deployable.

Fusion has the capacity to provide limitless, clean, carbon free, safe and secure energy.

That is why investors are increasingly backing fusion, as are governments.

Legal & General Capital is one of Tokamak Energy’s key investors. John Bromley, its Head of Clean Energy Strategy and Investment Director, recently made the case for the crucial role of investors in reaching NetZero.

He observed that investors will themselves need to innovate and show greater flexibility and creativity to provide the finance needed in what must become a more inclusive and environmentally sustainable economy.

Governments are also key in this partnership to drive fusion forwards.  A comprehensive policy and regulatory framework for fusion is essential to enable the sector to develop and thrive. Fusion is part of the UK Government’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution. Last year Tokamak Energy secured five US Department of Energy grants, creating deeper partnerships with leading expertise in the US National Laboratory System as well as £10 million from the UK’s Advanced Modular Reactor Programme.

Partnerships between the public and private sectors are crucial – both in terms of promoting technological development and securing robust financial support.

For this reason, in an article, I proposed the implementation of a comprehensive UK industry strategy for fusion.  We must collectively back the technology that can play a critical role in addressing the NetZero challenge.

In just a few months’ time, COP26 in Glasgow will provide a vital opportunity to agree how at an international level we collectively respond to the Code Red warning before us.

The best way for advanced economies to lead the way is to play to their technological strengths and develop and deliver new solutions for cheap, plentiful carbon-free energy.  Fusion can be developed rapidly through public-private partnerships, harnessing new technology, the expertise and enthusiasm of innovators and engineers – and with the backing of forward-thinking investors.

These are key ingredients which are needed for fusion to fulfil its commercial potential.

There are significant technological steps which lie ahead, but the positive global implications for the climate are huge – as is the market opportunity for commercial fusion energy.

This article was written by Chris Kelsall, CEO of Tokamak Energy.

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