Microsoft has recently made a major bet on nuclear fusion energy, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s name is all over it. It has signed an agreement with Helion Energy, an Altman-backed fusion power firm that aims to produce carbon-free electricity by 2023. Given that fusion has thus far eluded humanity, that’s a crazily ambitious aim, and many scientists say that we’re unlikely to unlock the fusion code for decades – if ever.
To that end, there appear to be some genuine stakes in this arrangement, particularly for Helion, because if the Altman-backed business fails to meet its objective by 2029, it would face a large (but unknown) financial penalty. Helion says it will have a functional prototype to demo sometime this year.
Altman, for his part, seems intensely optimistic about Helion and fusion in general, he thinks the startup may be able to deliver on its promises even earlier than planned. Considering that he’s reportedly put $375 million into the renewable energy firm.
However, although we appreciate these individuals’ enthusiasm, any fusion claims should be regarded with a grain of salt. Despite a recent breakthrough in the long-desired technology, many experts say that humanity is now too little, too late when it comes to fusion.
In any case, we’ll be keeping an eye on the Helion clock 🙂
This is a Globe PR Newswire Feed; fake checked and edited by Clean-Future Team
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