CivilFusion

Three New Pillars for the DOE

Image: Architect of the Capitol

Good things come in threes. 

The Department of Energy released its 2024 Fusion Energy Strategy, which outlines its three pillars for advancing domestic commercial fusion energy alongside the private sector. The report, released at a White House event, commemorates the two-year anniversary of the Bold Decadal Vision for Commercial Fusion Energy, a first-of-its-kind plan by the federal government.

“The development of fusion energy as a clean, safe, abundant energy source has become a global race, and the US will stay in the lead,” said DOE Deputy Secretary David Turk in a press release.

The new strategy: The DOE organized and updated its decadal fusion strategy into three pillars to accelerate growth in fusion commercialization: 

  1. Closing the science and technology gaps to enable development of at least one commercially relevant fusion pilot plant
  2. Preparing the path to sustainable, equitable commercial fusion 
  3. Building and leveraging external partnerships

A virtuous cycle: Investors’ growing interest in commercial fusion has catalyzed increased government support, according to the strategy document, which cited the $6B+ in private investment for fusion tech in recent years—80% of which went straight to US companies.

The DOE is on board with that growth and is committing funding to support fusion.

  • The agency announced the new Fusion Innovation Research Engine (FIRE) alongside this strategy, setting aside $180M for teams to bridge the science gaps to a commercial opportunity.
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