Why Fusion Will Power the Race to Net-Zero

This post is by Bruno Venditti from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by General Fusion

Why Fusion Will Power the Race to Net Zero

Governments worldwide are targeting massive decreases in carbon emissions by 2050.

With growing populations and high demand for energy, renewable energy sources will be needed to reach a net-zero scenario. However, renewables like wind and solar are intermittent and need a baseload source of clean energy to supplement them. 

This infographic from General Fusion explores fusion’s potential to deliver clean, abundant, reliable, and cost-competitive energy.

How Fusion Energy Works

Fusion powers the Sun and the stars, where immense forces compress and heat hydrogen plasma, fusing it into helium and releasing enormous amounts of energy.

Here on Earth, scientists use isotopes of hydrogen—deuterium and tritium—to power fusion plants. Deuterium is abundant in seawater while tritium can be produced from lithium, a common chemical element used in batteries, glass, and ceramics.

In fusion technology, light atomic nuclei are compressed under intense pressure and heat to form heavier ones and release energy. The fuel is heated to about 100 million degrees Celsius. At this hotter-than-the-sun temperature, a fully ionized gas plasma is formed. The plasma is then ignited to create fusion.

Unlike nuclear reactors that split atoms apart, fusion power plants fuse atoms to generate energy. One of the challenges for fusion, however, is to ensure fusion power plants can generate more (Read more...)