Fracked Gas is a no brainer but today I read an extremely well written comment on nuclear fusion. I copy it without apology and credit it to an unknown Scotsman.
The Coulomb Barrier is the energy barrier of electrostatic interaction that two nuclei need to overcome in order to reach sufficiently close to occur a nuclear reaction. Theoretically, in order to overcome this barrier, nuclei must collide at high speeds. In practice, however, as discovered in 1928 by the Russian Georgiy Gamow, temperatures required to overcome the barrier can be smaller due to quantum tunneling: In a limited range of conditions – known as the Gamow Window – nuclear fusion occurs without high speeds.
Recent research has found that low energy fusion is possible using Nickel and Hydrogen. An enormous amount of heat is generated and at the end of the reaction, which lasts for months, the nickel has transmuted into copper.
Several companies including Shell and Toyota, and US government agencies NASA and DARPA are connecting with the technology.
Shell are looking ahead to a post-oil world, Toyota are looking at home heating units, NASA want to use the technology to power spacecraft and DARPA want use it in military drones which can stay aloft for months at a time.
For the UK cheap home heating looks to be the first appearance of the technology, with home electricity generation and low energy fusion vehicles some years off.
As usual the UK is behind the game, unsurprisingly the Canadian government is extremely keen, maybe that fact that the largest nickel mine in the world is in Canada has something to do with it.
As to wind? Well as Vivienne Westwood would say, “It’s so last year, Darling!”