There is lots of research going on into nuclear fusion. Unlike nuclear fission which is used today and results in long-term nuclear waste, nuclear fusion could use the almost endless supplies of non-polluting deuterium in seawater. It is probably decades away from being commercially possible as the technical challenges are immense. Research is starting to yield results though. Nuclear fusion holds the potential for almost endless, low cost, energy. It could hold the keys to the future, but it is not yet possible, although the research must continue. This is one area where worldwide collaboration would benefit us all.
As for electric cars, although a "good idea" I think range is a
real killer. Most journeys are short, I know, but ranges of several
hundred miles on a single charge are really needed and I just can't see this
even with the best battery technology likely in the next few decades.
Replacement batteries for electric cards are very expensive. No, this is
an area where a lot more research is needed both in transport
for the masses in an age beyond carbon and in battery technology. We
need some "thinking outside the box" in these areas. Cars that do not
need diesel or petrol are essential. We have to crack this one and come
up with good solutions.
Thursday, 12 May 2016
Saturday, 5 November 2011
For over 50 years researchers have been struggling to make the dream of relatively clean, nuclear fusion energy generation a reality. It has been a long and uphill struggle and at times the chances of succeeding seemed low: there were just too many technical problems to overcome. At long last there are some hopeful signs that the technological breakthroughs are almost there. Even if sustained nuclear fusion is achieved soon in research environments, it will be many years before this translates into commercial scale nuclear fusion plants. Nonetheless I am very hopeful that within my lifetime we may see the first nuclear fusion test reactors built and commercial reactors in place within 30-40 years. The changes to the world's energy situation as a result of this will be immense: raw materials needed are plentiful and inexpensive, radioactive waste will be negligible and immense amounts of low cost energy should be possible. Let us hope that we all invest in the research and commercialisation of nuclear fusion rather than waste resources on trying to extract the last fossil fuels from the ground.