Jeff Bezos has just backed another startup in the fusion energy field, giving this once sci-fi technology a legitimate boost in the world of serious financial investors. Bezos is working with a Singapore financial giant known as Temasek, to bring 65 million dollars into General Fusion, the new startup. The company has said it will use the funds to build a full-scale power plant to demonstrate and test its latest cold fusion discoveries and then put them on a paying basis through national utility companies.
Private investors like Bezos (and Bill Gates, who is betting on another cold fusion startup called Commonwealth Fusion Systems) are willing to bet big because of the tremendous possibilities that cold fusion could make a reality. When harnessed properly, the technology would provide huge commercial opportunities with minimum regulation. This is because cold fusion, in theory, provides an unlimited source of safe energy without any of the drawbacks that makes nuclear energy so unpopular today, such as the possibility of a nuclear meltdown a la Chernobyl, and the production of toxic radioactive waste that is becoming harder and harder to dispose of.
While young innovative investors like Gates and Bezos are willing to put money behind this dream, more conservative investing firms and many scientists say that creating the energy output needed to become commercially viable is still many years, and many billions of dollars, away, when it comes to cold fusion.