On May 17, Kyoto Fusioneering Ltd., a 2019 spinoff from Kyoto University, announced that it had successfully raised over JPY10 billion in total from 17 investors, including power companies, trading firms and financial institutions. The firm’s goal is to commercialize fusion energy toward the simultaneous resolution of energy and climate-change issues.
Viewing fusion as a major next-generation source of energy, the company recognized that “in addition to the ITER Project,” R&D by fusion startups, fueled by private-sector investments, had been increasing internationally and that the push to realize and industrialize fusion energy was both active and intensifying.
Using the newly-obtained funds, together with the experience and information of its investors, Kyoto Fusioneering will accelerate its R&D on fusion-related peripheral devices (main products) and plants. It will also expand its business operations in the United States and the United Kingdom, moving forward toward its goal of being “the fastest in the world” to realize and commercialize fusion energy.
The investors have also expressed their views. K4 Ventures GK, a consolidated company in the Kansai Electric Power Company Group, said that it would seek out the latest information on fusion energy and investigate the feasibility of its commercialization toward realizing a zero-carbon society. Meanwhile, the Electric Power Development Co. (EPDC, or J-Power) said that it would add new value also to power generation and hydrogen production businesses. Mitsubishi Corporation said that it would endeavor to create a new carbon-neutral business using fusion energy, contributing to decarbonization and energy supply stability for Japan as well as for other countries.
In April, the government’s Integrated Innovation Strategy Promotion Council issued its Fusion Energy Innovation Strategy, based on discussions with companies from Japan’s private sector. Believing that fusion energy represents a new industry, Japan will endeavor to speed its commercialization.
KONISHI Satoshi, co-founder and chief “fusioneer” of Kyoto Fusioneering, served on the council as a specialist, having previously worked as researcher in tritium engineering at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), which was the predecessor of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).
Back in 1999, in a special interview for the 2,000th issue of the atomic industrial journal (Japanese newspaper published by JAIF), which debuted in 1956, Konishi was passionate, presciently saying, “Thinking about the future and about energy in the 21st century, fusion and other global renewable energies will have to be used. I want to see them demonstrated within 30 years.”