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.