Q: “Gianni, why are you so suspicious about this and other announcements about how significant breakthroughs are imminent on the 70-years long quest for nuclear fusion? Isn’t fusion A.Good.Thing. ?”An imaginary question an imaginary journalist could ask
A: “Well fusion WOULD certainly be a good thing for humanity, and I am convinced that we’ll get there eventually, because I like Big Science and the dream of nearly unlimited and free, non polluting energy is simply to good not to subscribe to it.
But I am also fascinated by Space Travel, and Superluminal Propulsion, just to put things in context.
But this the right side of my brain speaking. The left side sees the O&G industry hell-bent in avoiding obsolescence, and thinks:
- once you have almost-unlimited, almost-free energy, you must store it
- where to store it? well, make hydrogen, which will double up as fuel
- therefore we should develop cars and infrastructure around the hydrogen vector: protons, not electrons is the way to go!
- while we wait for fusion, we can use Blue hydrogen
- while we wait for CCUS to become technically and economically viable, we can use Grey
- let’s pull out more methane !
Number three above represents a very interesting clue: even Fusion advocates think that we will have the time to develop the infrastructure (an endeavour whose magnitude most people do not realise: almost 5 million filling stations worldwide would be needed! ) BEFORE we see Fusion…