Friday, August 14, 2020

"Oil giant taking stake in nuclear fusion startup"

From Power Engineering:
The second largest oil and gas company in the U.S. is putting some of its venture capital into a start-up focused on advanced modular nuclear reactor technology.

Chevron Corp. announced a Series A investment in Seattle-based Zap Energy. Zap is working to develop a plan on advancing commercially scalable nuclear fusion reactors.

Chevron is one of the world’s 10 biggest oil companies and second in the U.S. only to ExxonMobil.
This investment marks the 10th investment by Chevron’s Future Energy Fund, which was launched in 2018 to explore breakthrough technologies that enable macro decarbonization, the mobility-energy nexus, and energy decentralization.

“We see fusion technology as a promising low-carbon future energy source,” said Barbara Burger, president of Chevron Technology Ventures....MORE
Italy's ENI has invested in a couple different projects, here's Nuclear Engineering in 2018:
Italian oil and gas company Eni on 4 May signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Research Council (CNR) covering joint research in nuclear fusion, water, agriculture and the Arctic ecosystem. Eni and CNR are to invest more than €20m ($28m) over five years to establish a fusion research centre in Gela, Sicily - one of four joint research centres to be set up under the agreement.
“This agreement represents a significant step forward for Eni towards the development and implementation of increasingly efficient technologies capable of creating sustainable and accessible energy for more and more people", stated Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi. He added that Eni has long been committed to supporting scientific research for the realisation of concrete and scientifically sound solutions to support the diversification of the energy mix towards increasingly sustainable sources. Joint working groups will be set up to define the operation of the centres, the projects to be launched in the coming five years, the distribution of resources, and to draw up a cooperation agreement for joint management of the centres. Joint strategic workshops will be organised. The first will be held in September.
Earlier Eni said it was considering stepping up its investment in nuclear fusion. The company is already involved in a collaboration the US Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has set up a new private company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), in which Eni has shares. CFS in April, announced an initial investment of $30m to develop a fusion reactor prototype within 15 years, after which Eni’s head of development operations and technology, Roberto Casula, said Eni might increase its investment in the project...MORE
And Norway's Equinor is also invested in Commonwealth, along with the Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund (Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and others)