Germany to invest more than EUR 1 billion in fusion research

Germany will invest more than EUR 1 billion in fusion research over the next five years, according to Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger.

“Fusion is the huge opportunity to solve all our energy problems,” Stark-Watzinger said.

She said the question was no longer whether fusion would come, but rather whether Germany would be part of it, which she is pushing for.

The comments were made as the minister announced a new support programme worth €370 million intended to strengthen activities already under way at the Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Research Centre Jülich (FZJ) until 2028.

The aim is to create a “fusion ecosystem with industry” so that a fusion power plant becomes a reality in Germany as soon as possible, she said.

In a position paper released in June, the ministry pointed to an increasing demand for energy, parallel to the initiated energy transition away from fossil fuel power generation.

“The fact is: we need safe, base-load capable, affordable and CO2-neutral energy sources,” it says.

In nuclear fusion, unlike in reactors of conventional nuclear power plants, atomic nuclei are fused instead of split. Theoretically, very large amounts of energy could be generated in this way without negatively impacting the climate.