The global nuclear fusion market is growing at a healthy CAGR during the forecast period from 2022 to 2030.
Fusion is the sun's power at high temperatures and pressures, atoms collide and "fuse" releasing massive amounts of energy. That means that even small amounts of fuel contain a significant amount of intrinsic energy. That intrinsic energy is released during fusion. Fusion energy is created by pressing atomic nuclei together, breaking the nuclear force that repels atoms from each other and releasing a massive amount of power.
One gramme of fuel can produce 90,000-kilowatt hours of energy. To put it another way, it would take 10 million pounds of coal to produce the same amount of energy as one pound of fusion fuel. Commercial power plants will be able to provide clean, safe, and abundant energy anywhere in the world once science and engineering are proven.
By 2050, the global population will have increased by 33%, and economic growth means that energy demand could be five times higher than it is now. Unfortunately, today's energy system is unsustainable in terms of the environment, economically unstable, and promotes global insecurity. We must meet the world's increasing energy demand while transitioning to clean, affordable, and abundant energy sources. This will necessitate a breakthrough in clean energy technology. However, that breakthrough is not a pipe dream. Fusion is not a science fiction concept. Fusion energy is now routinely produced in laboratories all over the world. Until now, however, each fusion experiment has required more energy to control the fusion reaction than the fusion reaction has released. Commercial fusion will alter the global energy system.
Existing nuclear power plants rely on fission, which is the release of energy when heavy atoms like uranium decay. Fusion, on the other hand, generates energy by fusing very light nuclei, typically hydrogen, which can occur only at extremely high temperatures and pressures. The majority of efforts to harness it in reactors involve heating the hydrogen isotopes deuterium (D) and tritium (T) to form a plasma — a fluid state of matter containing ionized atoms and other charged particles — and then fusing (see 'Fuel mix'). Fusion begins at lower temperatures and densities for these isotopes than for normal hydrogen. Unlike fission, D-T fusion produces some radiation in the form of short-lived neutrons but no long-lived radioactive waste. It is also safer than fission because it can be easily turned off.
Global population and economic growth, combined with rapid urbanization, will result in a significant increase in energy demand in the coming years. According to the United Nations (UN), the world's population will increase from 7.6 billion in 2017 to 9.7 billion by 2050. The current rate of urbanization, which adds a city the size of Shanghai to the world's urban population every four months or so, will result in roughly two-thirds of the world's population living in urban areas by 2050 (up from 55% in 2018). Meeting rapidly increasing energy demand while reducing harmful glasshouse gas emissions is a significant challenge. Global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reached 33.3 Gt in 2019, the highest level on record and roughly 45% higher than in 2000. (23.2 GT). Because of the coronavirus pandemic response, primary energy demand fell by nearly 4% in 2020, while CO2 emissions fell by 5.8%. For many years, the growth of electricity demand has outpaced the growth of final energy demand. Increased electrification of end-uses such as transportation, space cooling, large appliances, ICT, and others is a major contributor to rising electricity demand. The number of people without access to electricity has decreased significantly and is now below one billion. Despite significant progress, over 11% of the world's population still lacks access, primarily in rural areas. The European Commission (EC) issued a policy paper titled Energy 2050 Roadmap in December 2011. This was very positive about nuclear power, stating that it can make "a significant contribution to the energy transformation process" and is "a key source of low-carbon electricity generation" that will keep system costs and electricity prices low. "Nuclear energy will remain in the EU power generation mix as a large-scale low-carbon option." The paper examined five scenarios that could lead to the EU's low-carbon energy economy goal of 80% CO2 reduction by 2050, based on energy efficiency, renewables, nuclear power, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). All scenarios show that electricity will have to play a much larger role than it does now, nearly doubling its share of final energy consumption.
Global energy demand is expected to skyrocket over the next few decades. This is primarily due to projected global population growth as well as the economic and industrial growth of developing countries such as China and India. Nuclear power is still needed for a variety of reasons, including the need for reliable baseload electricity and the threat of global climate change. Nuclear power, as the only large-scale source of nearly carbon-free energy, is an essential component of our all-of-the-above energy strategy, generating about 60% of low-carbon energy. Nuclear energy, rather than chemical burning, generates baseload electricity with no output of carbon, the villainous component of global warming. Switching from coal to natural gas is a step towards decarbonization because natural gas produces half the carbon dioxide that coal does. However, switching from coal to nuclear power is radically decarbonizing because nuclear power plants emit glasshouse gases only from the ancillary use of fossil fuels during construction, mining, fuel processing, maintenance, and decommissioning — roughly the same as solar power, which emits about 4 to 5 per cent as much as a natural gas-fired power plant.
Report Scope of the Nuclear Fusion Market
|Forecast Period||2022 to 2030|
|Segments Covered||Technology, Fuels and Geography|
Zap Energy, First Light Fusion, General Fusion, TAE Technologies, Commonwealth Fusion, Tokamak Energy, Lockheed Martin, Hyperjet Fusion, Marvel Fusion, Helion, HB11, Agni Fusion Energy
Inertial confinement and magnetic confinement are the two methods of nuclear fusion currently being researched by scientists. Inertial confinement devices compress sized deuterium tritium fuels pellet to exceptionally high densities using ion or laser beams. The pellet is ignited by shock wave heating when a critical threshold is achieved. Fusion power plant that would be able to ignite fuel pellets multiple times per second using this approach. The steam created from the heat is then utilized to drive turbines that produce energy.
Magnetic confinement systems employ electromagnets to keep the plasma fuel confined. The plasma is housed in a chamber that resembles a doughnut in the tokamak device, one of the most promising alternatives. The plasma is subjected to a strong electric current, which raises its temperature. The plasma can also be heated via auxiliary systems like microwaves, radiowaves, or accelerated particles.
Celsius are reached during the process. Magnetic fields are ideal for confining a plasma because the separated ions and electrons follow the magnetic field lines due to their electrical charges. The goal is to keep the particles from colliding with the reactor walls, which would dissipate their heat and slow them down. The most efficient magnetic configuration is toroidal, which is shaped like a doughnut and has the magnetic field curved around to form a closed loop. This toroidal field must have a perpendicular field component superimposed on it for proper confinement (a poloidal field). The result is a magnetic field with spiral (helical) force lines that confine and control the plasma.
All of the fuels considered for fusion power have been light elements such as hydrogen isotopes protium, deuterium, and tritium. The deuterium and helium-3 reaction necessitates the use of helium-3, an isotope of helium that is so scarce on Earth that it would have to be mined from space or produced through other nuclear reactions. Researchers hope to eventually use the protium/boron-11 reaction because it does not directly produce neutrons, though side reactions can occur.Deuterium and tritium, both heavy isotopes of hydrogen, are the primary fuels used in nuclear fusion. Deuterium is a trace element that makes up only 0.0153% of natural hydrogen and can be extracted cheaply from seawater. Tritium can be synthesized from lithium, which is abundant in nature.
In theory, the amount of deuterium in one litre of water can produce as much energy as the combustion of 300 litres of oil. This means that the oceans contain enough deuterium to meet human energy needs for millions of years.
According to an October survey by the Fusion Industry Association (FIA) in Washington DC, which represents companies in the sector, there are now more than 30 private fusion firms globally; the 18 firms that have declared their funding say they have attracted more than US$2.4 billion in total, almost entirely from private investments (see 'Fusion funding'). Advances in materials research and computing, which enable technologies other than the standard designs pursued by national and international agencies for so long, are critical to these efforts.
Europe is at the forefront of fusion energy research. Nuclear fusion could become the primary source of energy in the second half of this century, and Europe is well-positioned to lead the way if its resources are managed properly. EURO fusion, a new initiative that will pool fusion research in Europe, will be officially launched on October 9th. 'Because we have such a broad and well-organized fusion programmed, Europe has the opportunity to strengthen its world-leading position here.
Excellent nuclear fusion technology activities are also being carried out in APAC. After superheating a loop of plasma to temperatures five times hotter than the sun for more than 17 minutes, China's "artificial sun" established a new world record. The experimental advanced superconducting tokomaks (EAST) nuclear fusion reactor reportedly maintained a temperature of 158 million degrees Fahrenheit (70 million degrees Celsius) for 1,056 seconds, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
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