For years, every effort at generating energy from nuclear fusion generated no more than 3% of “ignition.” That means, for every 100 units of energy used to generate the reaction, the attempt produced no more than 3. We need at least a 101 for the effort to be net positive.
Then, a few weeks back, the National Institute of Ignition at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, did something unprecedented. A single laser shot shattered the record for the amount of energy product. Most importantly, energy produced was a whopping 70% of ignition.
As we figure out how to navigate the climate crisis with expected amounts of dysfunction (try getting large groups of humans to do anything together), playing offense with innovate technology is going to be just as important as playing defense by reducing emissions.
I hope this near-breakthrough accelerates funding for nuclear fusion. Cracking this would make for a giant leap in our efforts to create limitless clean energy.