The global fusion industry in 2021
There is growing excitement about fusion energy as an option to contribute to the world’s low-carbon energy supply. Increasing numbers of private companies are aiming to deliver commercial fusion and producing significant breakthroughs in the science and technology that will lead to a commercial power plant.
A survey from the Fusion Industry Association, below, provides a snapshot of the state of the growing fusion industry 2021. This survey, supported by the UKAEA, will be updated periodically.
There are now at least 35 global fusion companies (12 are either early stage or in stealth mode so declined to participate in the survey) and progress is accelerating. Of the 23 companies featured, 15 (65%) were founded since 2010. At the time of publishing, 25 companies are members of the Fusion Industry Association.
18 of the 23 companies have declared private funding of almost $1.8b to date, plus an additional $85 million in grants and other funding from governments taking the total to $1.87b. Since the publication of the report, Helion Energy announced a further $500m in funding, raising the total to $2.37b. Five companies – Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Helion Energy, General Fusion, TAE Technologies and Tokamak Energy – currently account for 90% of this funding; there is still enormous scope for investment and innovation in this emerging industry.
Targeting electricity production in the 2030s
The vast majority of fusion innovation is focussed on electricity generation, named as a core target market for all but one of the companies questioned (96%).
The survey found that 83% of companies believe that fusion electricity will be on the grid in the 2030s or before, an achievable target for commercialization of fusion as a clean energy technology.
About the Fusion Industry Association
The Fusion Industry Association (FIA) is the unified voice of the fusion industry, working to transform the energy system with commercially viable fusion power. Founded as an initiative in 2018, the FIA has already made its mark in Washington and around the world. As it expands, the FIA will support the creation of a new industry that will change the world.
The FIA is a collaborative effort, combining scientific, political, government, and media expertise to support its member companies.
Membership classes include full members building commercial fusion power; affiliate memberships for the companies, NGOs, and consultants wanting to build the global fusion energy economy; university and laboratory partnerships with the publicly-supported researchers; and energy industry memberships for the incumbent industries working to build the fusion future.