We’ve talked about alternative and green energy solutions before on Throw Forward Thursday (Episode 6 and Episode 24). Today, we look not at the future but at something that happened last week as we got proof that nuclear fusion is possible. We knew it theoretically and have had small successes in tokamak reactors around the world, but last week was absolute proof that we are on the right track.
Here are some links to the announcements:
* What a breakthrough in nuclear fusion technology means for the future of clean energy
* Physicists Say New Breakthrough Proves Fusion Power Is Possible
In 2023 the world is facing an energy crunch. But by the end of this decade, we are likely to have significant long-term, cheap and clean energy available all around the world. The future is coming faster than we imagined and solving big problems in ways we couldn’t have imagined.
Every Thursday, I invite you to join me in the Throw forward Thursday and jump into the future. My name is Graeme Codrington, and this is what I do for a living. I help people to anticipate future trends.
Now, for a long time, our team has been looking at research and experiments, and work that is being done on alternative energy sources.
We visited “ITER”, that’s the International, thermonuclear experimental reactor being built in the south of France and that’s a Tokamak type reactor that’s due to be switched on sometime late in the 2020s, and that promises to take tritium and deuterium, which are easily found in seawater, and turn it through nuclear fusion into energy. Now, it’s a billion of dollars of project, but once it’s up and running will essentially pay for itself, and the energy out of it will be free. Free, thank you, accountants, let’s just think of it as sunk costs.
That’s the future, but I can’t take you to the future anymore, I have to take you to the past because we are already beginning to see more and more nuclear fusion experiments working.
In December 2022, scientists in the United States did an energy experiment using nuclear fusion, learning some of the early lessons from ITER and other places and they were able to get more energy out of a machine than they had put in, in order to get the nuclear fusion going.
In other words, we created energy. This is the goal, this is what we really want to be able to do, that we don’t have to burn up carbon fuels, we don’t even have to wait for the sun to shine and the wind to blow and look for some of those alternative energy sources, although those are hugely valuable and part of the mix. But that we will be able to do what the sun does, but do it in a controlled way on earth, producing energy at essentially zero cost.
We’re not there yet. These are still experimental forms, but we are proving that the science works, we are showing that the machines can be built and we are beginning to imagine what a future might look like where energy is not only cheap, it’s also clean, it’s also safe, and that will be one of the biggest game changers in our lifetimes. And the coolest thing is it’s going to happen in our lifetimes, in fact, a lot faster than that.
As always, thank you for joining me in not the future, but in this world that is moving at an unbelievable place. I look forward to seeing you once again next week as we investigate what’s happening in the world of tomorrow and today.
I’ll see you next week.
At TomorrowToday Global, we help clients around the world analyse major global trends, developing strategies and frameworks to help businesses anticipate and adapt to market disruption in an ever-changing world.
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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.