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After decades of slow progress and massive investment, some fusion power researchers are changing tactics You can accuse fusion power advocates of being overly optimistic but never of thinking small. Fusion occurs when two elements combine, or “fuse,” together to form a new, third element, converting matter to energy. It is the process that powers the sun, and the fusion world's marquee projects are accordingly grand.

A group of start-ups is promising a new and virtually unlimited source of power, one that produces none of the gases scientists say contribute to global warming.

The only problem? A way to harness the energy source, nuclear fusion — the reaction that gives birth to sunlight — still needs to be invented.

A day after announcing his party's plan for the environment and the economy, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau along with candidates Jonathan Wilkinson, Terry Beech, and Adam Pankratz chose to visit General Fusion today to highlight the importance of Canadian investments in clean technology R&D.  It was a great, engaging discussion.

For many, nuclear fusion is the Holy Grail of energy, offering the possibility of limitless clean energy through harnessing the very same reaction that keeps our Sun burning.
While the potential of fusion is huge, it is a process that requires vast resources and effort, with the International Energy Agency stating that, "extreme temperatures and pressure are needed to initiate and sustain the fusion reaction, making it challenging." Fusion is different from the fission power that is used in our nuclear power stations in that energy is generated when atoms are brought together rather than blown apart, which causes radiation. British Columbia-based General Fusion are hoping that the technology and methods they are developing will herald a new era in nuclear fusion. They have developed what they describe as a "Magnetized Target Fusion system."

Commercial nuclear fusion or “fusion energy” is a long-standing goal in the energy business.  Essentially the same force that powers the stars, it promises clean, safe and almost limitless energy.  Yet harnessing it on Earth is highly challenging, both from a technical and from a commercial standpoint.  Over the course of the last few decades, government and private industry have been steadily overcoming these challenges to the point that we are very close now to having the ultimate energy source commercially viable.

Latest funding round brings total investment in the Burnaby, B.C.-based energy company to more than $100 million Canadian alternative energy company General Fusion has just completed its largest round of fundraising to date, in the amount of $27 million. The new funding, led by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, brings the Burnaby, B.C.-based firm’s total venture capital raised to more than $100 million.

BC Premier Christy Clark chose General Fusion as the venue to introduce the Climate Leadership Team on Tuesday May 12th.  This team will provide government with expert advice and recommendations for Climate Action Plan 2.0 – the next phase of BC’s global leadership to tackle climate change.  The Premier said General Fusion was chosen as an example of the kind of clean energy enterprise that has emerged under BC’s climate leadership.