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Are We Closer To Clean Energy?

Clean energy refers to energy sources that have a low impact on the environment and do not contribute to climate change. These sources of energy include renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass, as well as advanced technologies such as nuclear power and carbon capture and storage.

The use of clean energy is important because it helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are major contributors to climate change. It also helps to reduce air pollution, which can have significant health impacts on humans and wildlife.

As we continue to grapple with the impacts of climate change and the need to transition to a more sustainable energy system, whether we are closer to clean energy is one on many people's minds. In this newsletter, we will explore the current state of the transition to clean energy and discuss some of the groundbreaking progress that has been made toward this goal.

One key factor in the transition to clean energy is the increasing competitiveness of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. In many parts of the world, these technologies are already cost-competitive with fossil fuels, and the cost of renewable energy is continuing to decline as the technologies become more efficient and widespread. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, making renewable energy an increasingly attractive option for both residential and commercial users.

A Real breakthrough in Fusion Energy

What is Nuclear Fusion?

Nuclear fusion is a process in which atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, releasing a large amount of energy in the process. This process is the same as the one that powers the sun and other stars, and it has the potential to provide a virtually limitless and clean source of energy.

The basic principle behind nuclear fusion is simple: if you can get two hydrogen atoms close enough together, they will fuse to establish a heavier atom of helium and release a large amount of energy in the process. However, achieving the conditions necessary for nuclear fusion is extremely difficult, and researchers have been working on developing practical fusion energy systems for many decades.

The Breakthrough…

Many people are optimistic about the future after the U.S. Department of Energy declared a breakthrough in nuclear fusion on Tuesday.
Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California made the accomplishment.

Although the idea of nuclear fusion may be novel to some, research on it has been ongoing since the 1940s. They have, however, encountered a difficult challenge: how to generate more energy than is required to manufacture it. It almost appeared to be an impossible task. Watch Video!

Although this represents a significant scientific achievement, harnessing the process that creates the sun's energy as a reliable source of plentiful clean energy is still a very long way off.

According to Marvin Adams, deputy administrator for defense programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration, at a press conference on Tuesday, the team fired 192 laser beams at a tiny fuel pellet on December 5; the result was a small amount more energy produced than the lasers used.

While the energy produced was small - about three megajoules, or enough to power a light bulb - it marks a historic first in nuclear fusion energy because the lasers used just over two megajoules to fire into the target.

However, there is a catch. 300 megajoules of energy were used for the experiment. The target fuel received 2.05 megajoules from the 192 lasers in the facility. The target fuel ignited and released 3.15 megajoules, according to the facility.

The 297.95 megajoules have not been identified as yet. This is a difficulty. It might be difficult to explain the missing megajoules, or it might not be. It produces a pretty black shadow when left outside. One wishes for the arrival of the due diligence.

The Importance

Due to millennia of burning fossil fuels, Earth is currently experiencing a climate catastrophe. As a result, there will be more floods, droughts, increasing sea levels, and other natural disasters. This is already occurring, and as the earth heats, the severity of these disasters will increase.

The earth has warmed by about 1.2 C, but if we can keep it from warming any further - to the ambitious 1.5 C target set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement - that would mean fewer calamities caused by climate change. Therefore, engineers and scientists have been working to create affordable, sustainable energy.

  • Virtually limitless energy: Nuclear fusion has the potential to provide a virtually limitless source of energy, as the fuel (hydrogen) used in the process is abundant and widely available.
  • Clean energy: Nuclear fusion does not produce greenhouse gases or other air pollutants, making it a clean source of energy. It also does not produce long-lived nuclear waste, which is a major concern with other forms of nuclear energy.
  • High energy density: Nuclear fusion has a very high energy density, meaning that a small amount of fuel can produce a large amount of energy. This makes it an efficient source of energy that could potentially meet the world's energy needs for an extended period.
  • Safety: Nuclear fusion reactions are inherently stable and do not produce the kind of uncontrolled reactions that can occur in other forms of nuclear energy, such as nuclear fission. This makes nuclear fusion a potentially safer source of energy.
  • Versatility: Nuclear fusion has the potential to be used in a variety of applications, including electricity generation, transportation, and space exploration.

Overall, nuclear fusion has the potential to be a game-changing technology that could revolutionize the way we think about energy and help to address many of the world's energy challenges.

The Challenges…

Although this is a historical first, it does not yet follow that we are equipped to produce energy on a massive scale.
The director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, Kim Budil, stated that there are "quite major challenges," both in science and technology.

To obtain commercial fusion energy, you must "create many, many fusion ignition events per minute and you must have a powerful system of drivers," according to Budil. "This is one igniting capsule, one time.

Although it wouldn't take as long as scientists had previously predicted, she clarified that it will still be a few decades before the underlying technologies are advanced enough to allow for the construction of a nuclear fusion power plant.
Among the U.S. are other countries like France, and Canada (private companies) working on the advancement of Fusion Energy.

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Top comments (2)

michelle_thevenot_1dddc89 profile image
Michelle Thevenot

No and if they try to retro fit all gas engines it will be a mess!!! I don’t think they can pull it off without a collapse in our transportation system! Tesla had it right but alas he was silenced for his knowledge !N I’m curious is there electric jets to transport mail and cargo in 2025 ! I’m sure our government has it all figured out ??? !! Lmao !, Not !

thenuelgeek profile image
Nuel geek

interesting view

It will still take decades for reasonable amount of clean energy to be achieved