Could Miniature Suns Be the Solution to Our Future Energy Problems?

By: Thomas Ström 9/24/21

I care a great deal about the environment, which is reflected in this blog. The climate is a global issue, and we need to find a solution before it’s too late. Several countries are currently investing in fusion energy projects. Projects that have been underway for several years and that are getting closer to becoming a reality. But why is Sweden not part of the fusion power development? And when can this become a reality?  

Imagine if, within the near future, we could have an energy source that could solve not just the problems of a few countries, but the energy problems of the whole world. I’m talking about fusion energy, which might be the answer to the world's energy problems. 

We humans cannot do without the technology we are used to living with today. And when the world's energy supply is dominated by fossil fuels that are destroying our environment, we need to find alternative sources of energy that don't have the same environmental impact. Fusion energy might be the answer.  

There are already projects underway that aim to produce fusion energy in the future. In France, for example, 35 countries have joined forces to build the world's largest fusion power plant, ITER. Unfortunately, Sweden is not involved in this fusion energy development.  

But what is fusion energy? Fusion power is the same type of energy that powers the sun and the stars, and it involves the fusion of atomic nuclei. You could call it a miniature sun. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is called fission and involves the splitting of atomic nuclei, leaving behind radioactive waste. Fusion power, on the other hand, does not. In other words, it is an energy source that can supply the whole world with energy without much impact on the environment!  

To demonstrate how close we are to this becoming our reality, China has already managed to reach 120 million Celsius for a total of 101 seconds. They currently hold the world record for fusion energy. And by 2025, ITER in France is scheduled to be completed and they expect to be fully operational by 2035. 

When reading about fusion energy, I find it hard to find any drawbacks whatsoever. Except that it requires a lot of funding, and the fact that it doesn't work for more than 101 seconds so far. But honestly, who thought that we would leave our horses at home and take the car instead? Who thought that we would be able to "send letters" without stamps? Who thought that we would control our lives through smartphones? 

I believe this could be one of the future energy sources that can solve the energy problems we have in the world, and I wish Sweden would take a leap and contribute to the development.