On Wednesday, July 28, the Senate voted to move in a bipartisan way to debate passage of an infrastructure package. The Fusion Industry Association and its member companies have made a clear case to Congress that supporting fusion energy is not just an investment in the future. Investing in fusion will create new, good jobs today as we build the facilities that will prove the science of fusion. It will create the high-tech industrial base that spawns spinoffs and a new era of prosperity.
The FIA is disappointed that the package does not include any support for new programs that would accelerate commercial fusion energy. Meanwhile, the legislation includes significant funding towards commercialization of other advanced and innovative energy programs. For instance, the bill spends: $3.5 billion for atmospheric carbon removal from direct air capture, over $8 billion for hydrogen development, $6 billion for civil nuclear credits, $10 billion for pumped hydropower, and more.
Even more surprising, the bill funds significant demonstration projects in renewable energy, carbon capture, advanced nuclear reactor demonstration, and industrial emissions, all created by passage of the Energy Act of 2020, which also authorized a milestone-based fusion energy development program. The FIA is surprised and disappointed that the fusion development program was excluded while these other energy sources were funded.
The FIA calls on the Senate to amend this legislation by adding funding for fusion energy development. Alternatively, the FIA will also support funding for fusion development and deployment in other infrastructure packages and in annual appropriations.
Andrew Holland, CEO of the Fusion Industry Association said: “This legislation is a missed opportunity. America’s competitors are doubling down on their support for transformational investments in fusion energy development and deployment. The U.S. should not miss this opportunity to maintain leadership in the next great industry. Commercial fusion energy is coming: decisions made now will determine whether its “Made in America” or built elsewhere.”