Fusion power

Last week’s SNJ carried three pieces on the development of fusion power. Both Ian Mean and Siobhan Bailey in their columns enthused about efforts to attract research money for the Berkeley site. It seems to me they have pinned their flag to the wrong pole.

We have a climate emergency NOW and need to develop current technologies NOW. It is folly to think that fusion power can help us meet our net zero target by 2050 – only 28 years away!

Heaven knows when Hinckley C will come on-line, probably 2050 if past overruns are anything to go by, but when it does you would probably need it’s entire generation capacity to get a fusion reaction going great enough to power the disco at a party in Downing Street! If we can afford parties in 2050.

I'm reminded of the newspaper headlines from the 1950's when the first nuclear fission station opened "electricity too cheap to meter". Carries a hollow ring to it now, 70 years on, with rocketing energy prices.

Let’s ramp up R&D and investment in renewables, smart grids, EV’s, energy storage and our local electricity networks; develop home grown cleantech replacing imports from China; encourage community energy initiatives, go for distributed generation, local energy independence with reduced transmission losses rather than huge multi-billion pound centralized power plants. Oh, and goes without saying – insulate our building stock. All this can be implemented now! We need to get a move on.

Richard Simon, Director Solarsense UK Ltd