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ARPA-E Announces Funding Program to Develop Lower-Cost Fusion Energy Concepts

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The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy plans to award up to $30M for research projects designed to create lower-cost concepts for the development of deployable, commercially viable fusion energy.

Under a new program, dubbed Breakthroughs Enabling THermonuclear-fusion Energy, ARPA-E aims to establish controlled fusion energy by lowering the cost of more-mature fusion concepts and enhancing the application of existing fusion research and development capabilities, the Department of Energy said Thursday. 

DoE views controlled fusion as an ideal energy source due to its potential to generate abundant, clean and safe power, enabling a cost-effective, low-carbon economy. 

The BETHE initiative builds on the recent progress in the department’s first fusion program, called Accelerating Low-Cost Plasma Heating and Assembly, which demonstrated new methods of reaching fusion conditions. 

The program also seeks to foster partnerships between the government and industry in an effort to build a path to fusion commercialization.