Star Scientific Limited
Star Scientific Limited Executive Chairman, Andrew Horvath offers cut-through commentary on long-term solutions in the new energy sphere and a unique take on the way we fund critical scientific research.
Closing the door on the climate change debate
The Big Picture
Whether or not you subscribe to the concept of man-made climate change, it’s hard to deny that if the planet’s climate continues to change the socio-economic and environmental effects will be wide-ranging, impacting water supplies, food security and ecosystems in a way which could potentially further destabilise the lives of many of the world’s most at-risk people.
The cost of tackling the climate change issue will be phenomenal.
By making electricity generation cheap and carbon free, muon catalysed fusion can become a cornerstone in preventing, or at least minimising, climate change, with muon catalysed fusion modelling exceeding existing 2030 targets to stabilise global warming at 2 degrees Celsius.
The introduction of muon catalysed fusion could also prompt radical change – and huge cost savings in mitigation measures, with those expensive policies tied up with the production and consumption of electricity becoming obsolete, or at least substantially replaced.
If you assume, as many do, that the GDP loss due to the impact of climate change could be 1.5% by 2050, that equates to around $3 to $4 trillion US dollars per year – just for the world’s most major economies.
The potential cost savings in electricity generation alone could fall in the range of $122 to $18 trillion US dollars between 2015 and 2030 alone.
Because of the clear cost benefits of muon catalysed fusion technology, it’s safe to assume that all other methods of power generation – nuclear fission, hydroelectricity, wind, bioenergy, geothermal power and all forms of solar power – will be displaced by muon catalysed fusion over a period of time.
The financial appeal of muon catalysed fusion power would also imply that carbon capture and storage technologies will no longer be required.
But where would it begin? It seems logical that muon catalysed fusion technology would initially be rolled out in the power sector, however, since it provides such cheap carbon free energy it would be remiss not to refurbish other sectors as quickly as possible thereafter.
Consider the vast power consumption of the building industry, or other fields which depend strongly upon fossil fuels such as transport and residential and industrial heat. If muon catalysed fusion technology is implemented here, the greenhouse gas pollution emitted by these sectors will quite literally, disappear, having a positive flow-on effect which will further reduce emissions from electricity consumption.
When electricity becomes virtually free, and is incredibly safe, there’ll be no need to save it, for mitigation purposes or otherwise.
If muon catalysed fusion energy is rolled out rapidly throughout the world’s electricity sectors, and then further expanded into the industry, transport and building heating areas, it has the potential to solve many of our climate change concerns – and for once it’s not a solution that will just bring environmental benefits, it’s one which makes economic sense too.