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It’s amazing the things you discover on Twitter.  Engadget brought me this news item on Jeff Bezos investing in a fusion startup.

On the surface, someone like Amazon founder Bezos investing in a startup isn’t unusual.  Except that fusion is usually the domain of multi-billion dollar government funded megaprojects like ITER and NIF.

So it appears, this Canadian startup called General Fusion completed Series B funding of $19.5 million USD.  Yes, that’s million with a M. 

What’s even more intereting than the fact that Bezos is investing in this firm, is it also attracted money from one of Canada’s largest oil companies – Cenovus (formerly the oil assets of Encana, which was formed from the merger of PanCandian and AEC – but I digress).

My jaw hit the floor at least 3 times reading this, and it had nothing to do with Bezos investing in General Fusion:

  • There is such a thing as fusion startups!
  • In Canada!
  • Attracting investment from old school fossil fuel extractors!

Lets hope they’re successful.  There’s lots of reason to be skeptical about fusion as a reality.  But now instead of ITER vs NIF in a battle of the government funded megaprojects, we have a very little David in this battle now.  This could get interesting.

Why do I care about this?  The appeal of fusion is huge – with 10 billion people on the planet by the end of the century, there’s no way the climate can handle continued energy production via fossil fuels.  We need a clean, scalable replacement for coal and we need it fast.

Also, from a solution management standpoint, energy generation is an industry overdue for a disruptive change.  Having spent a career in technology, I love the fast paced rate of change.  New entrants come in and disrupt established incumbents all the time.  I’d love to see some faster paced innovation in a tradtionally slow-moving industry like electricity generation.

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