Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a MIT spinoff startup which focuses on commercializing fusion energy has recently raised $84 million new funding in the second tranche of series A round.
Experts believe that where this pandemic has caused economic downturns and recession, it has also had a big upside. The upside being natural purification and less carbon emissions leading to the open possibility of getting a clean new world. As and when both developing and developed nations start to increase the usage of irregular renewable energy, it results in the need for adding flexible clean power supply technology that can be availed whenever it is needed and hence be more consistent in the power supply area.
The fact that Commonwealth Fusion was successful in closing the latest funding round during the time of a pandemic shows that investors are still interested in addressing climate change and have faith in the clean energy sector.
Temasek Holding Pte of Singapore and Equinor ASA were amongst the top stock investors in Commonwealth Fusion Systems’ latest fundraising round. Company officials claim that this investment will be used for building manufacturing plants and further expanding this noble idea into a tangible reality. The company despite being founded by researchers working at MIT, has been successful in raising $200 million till date.
Today's nuclear power plants are splitting atoms in a process that releases tons of energy, which could be converted into carbon emission free electricity. But the current type of fission reactors work with some significant downsides, such as non-disposable radioactive waste and rapidly increasing construction costs, that have hampered the technology's acceptance amongst public and even governments. Fusion energy is the opposite of fission. It generates energy by merging atoms usually the isotopes of hydrogen in a process that creates a temperature above 100 million degrees Celsius.
Experts believe that the technology comes with the advantage of creating less waste and having a near-unlimited fuel supply, if it can be made to work. The big problem is that no one has been able to build a sustainable energy generating reactor by controlling the fusion reactions. Optimistic scientists have been claiming the possibility of such aechnology for almost 90 years now. Although it still needs a lot of work, experts claim that we finally have the technology to capacitate such a power plant.
There’s a new generation of startups that are here to challenge the status quo. Scientific breakthroughs have resulted in radical innovations such as superstrong magnets, which are capable of managing the temperatures these fusion reactors reach. The application of advanced power in computing and technology in nuclear fission might make this project possible in the nearest future.