German start-up aims to generate fusion with lasers

Nuclear fusion is the energy that powers stars. If it can be recreated on Earth, it has the potential to provide nearly limitless energy with zero carbon emissions — and unlike nuclear fission, which powers nuclear plants today, fusion does not leave behind long-lasting radioactive nuclear waste.

German start-up aims to generate fusion with lasers

The technology has been seemingly just out of reach for decades now, but the reward is so high that billions of dollars are still flowing into the space. On Wednesday, the Biden White House unveiled a vision for spurring fusion investment, noting that commercial fusion “has the potential to revolutionize the energy industry.”

Marvel Fusion, founded in 2019, is one of the many start-ups taking a bet on commercializing fusion. The German company is pursuing an innovative approach using lasers instead of magnets, and has so far raised raised €60 million ($65.9 million), including a €35 million ($38.5 million) round in February led by Earlybird Venture Capital.

It’s still years — and billions of dollars — away from even building a prototype, but the company is testing the idea using computer models and believes its approach will be more efficient than competing efforts.