Congress Provides Record Funding for Fusion Energy and Initiates New Public Private Partnership
In the 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the $1.5 trillion spending bill which funds the government for the 2022 Fiscal Year, the U.S. Congress provided record new funding for fusion energy research in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences and provides enough resources to initiate a new milestone-based public-private partnership program.
Long a priority for the Fusion Industry Association, this new milestone-based public private partnership program would allow the Department of Energy to partner with private companies to build new fusion energy devices, focused towards defined milestones, as agreed by a competitive application process. The program was created by Congress in the Energy Act of 2020, but the $45 million directed to this program is the first funding that was directly appropriated for it. Although the funding will be enough to initiate the program and define the parameters of application, it will not be enough – on its own – to meet ambitious goals for fusion energy development.
The milestone program was authorized at $325 million in funding over 5 years, a number that the House of Representatives has proposed to raise to $800 million in the Science for the Future Act, as pending before the Senate. Based on an informal poll of FIA members, the private sector is ready to support up to $1 billion in funding. More details of how the FIA proposes this program would work are available on our website.
Beyond the new milestone program, Congress provides $713 million, a record high, for the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, which supports the bulk of the U.S. Government’s fusion research and construction. Specific funding specified by Congress includes $242 million for ITER construction and financial support, and $460 million for fuison research.
Details are available in the report of the legislation through Congress:, see page 116 for explanatory language, 140 for numbers.
The FIA is pleased with the result of this legislation. It provides a solid base to grow as the U.S. government moves towards creating a “Bold Decadal Vision for Fusion Energy” as begun by a White House March 2022 summit.