FEI Insights

Fusion Industry Update

Feb 20, 2023

Our first Insights Q&A of 2023 took place on 8th February with Andrew Holland, CEO of the Fusion Industry Association. Andrew has worked at the intersections of science, energy, policy, and politics for two decades. He’s the author of the report, “Fusion Power – A 10 Year Plan for American Energy Security,” first published in 2013, laying out a roadmap for American leadership in fusion.

Andrew gave us an update on recent progress in the global fusion industry, including private company advances, investment, and government initiatives. He also talked about how new companies need support from outside rather than having in-house capabilities.

Here are three insights taken from the event:

1.     The growth of the fusion industry brings huge growth opportunities

Bloomberg estimates that a mature fusion energy industry could reach $40 trillion in valuation. McKinsey have said that fusion could become the dominant source of clean energy on the European grid of 2050.

Andrew talked about needing a new high tech industrial supply chain. In a soon to be released report on the supply chain, The Fusion Industry Association has found that even at this early stage private fusion companies have spent $500 million in the last year alone on the supply chain, thus fusion brings huge business opportunities.

2.     The time is right for fusion now because we are building on solid foundations and bringing in new development.

The scientific research over the past 60 years has given us a greater understanding of plasma physics. Combined with rapid developments in other technological areas such as high-speed computing, new materials, advanced lasers and AI, fusion has moved forward rapidly in recent years. In addition, improved business models have also had an impact - where investors do not have to commit to billions of dollars immediately, but companies are setting milestones and demonstrating what can be done. This de-risks in a financial sense.

3.     Multiple stakeholders will need to come together to achieve fusion.

Andrew stated that he favours the “the big tent” strategy in the FIA and the industry should have a positive agenda and not a negative one against other areas such as fission or nuclear. Within the FIA they have fossil fuel companies, pro-nuclear NGOs and atomic energy companies as affiliate members. Andrew said, “I want to be as broad and big tent as we can, and just have a positive agenda so that everybody feels as they are stakeholders in getting fusion to the finish line.”


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