Germany will invest more than €1 billion in nuclear fusion research over the next five years, Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger announced on Tuesday.
“Nuclear fusion offers us the chance to solve all our energy problems,” she said.
Nuclear fusion entails combining atomic nuclei rather than splitting them, unlike reactors in conventional power stations. In theory, very large amounts of energy can be produced in this way without any negative impact on the climate.
The aim is to create a “fusion ecosystem" with industry so that a fusion power plant can be built in Germany as soon as possible, the minister said in an interview with German news agency DPA..
According to Ms. Stark-Watzinger, the question is no longer whether nuclear fusion will take place, but rather whether Germany will be involved. “That’s my goal,” she added.
The technology is not yet commercially viable, but the minister believes it is only a matter of time before it is.
She also announced a new support programme worth €370 million to boost the activities of the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Juliers Research Centre (FZJ) until 2028.