“Practical fusion power is thirty years off and always will be.” Most people are instantly enraptured at the thought that a single glass of water will provide enough fusion fuel for their lifetime – if only it could be safely unlocked – and most of us have heard, as well, that we should not set our watches for when this will occur.
Fusion is the process that powers the sun and the stars – the primary source of energy in the universe. It is an inexhaustible, CO2-free, safe energy source that remains to be tapped on Earth. It is mankind’s ultimate energy source, available to every nation independent of natural resources but requiring sufficient technical know-now. The global multi-trillion dollar energy industry will generate enormous profits for the parties that license this know-how. Fusion’s asymptotic rise poses an existential threat to the balance of the energy economy.
Advances in fusion science and technology, particularly in the stellarator approach, seem to provide a clear path to economical fusion energy. Many signs indicate it will ready for commercialization in the coming 10 to 15 years. Many highly credible US and European private, institutional, and sovereign wealth fund investors are rapidly recognizing the commercial potential of fusion energy.
Starting from near zero in 2023, is there a window of opportunity KAUST and for Saudi Arabia to enter and quickly become a major player in fusion energy by partnering with existing fusion expertise? A panel of experts will discuss and take questions.