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This Oil Major Just Invested In Nuclear Fusion Energy

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may have found a way to fast track the development of fusion energy, and a working pilot plant could be less than 15 years away. The project has attracted one of Europe’s largest oil and gas companies—Italy’s Eni—that has committed funding for research and development.

MIT researchers may have found a way to produce net energy from fusion by the use of high-temperature superconducting electromagnets.

MIT and a new startup company created by former MIT researchers and students, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), have attracted Eni, which will invest US$50 million to buy a stake in CFS and will support the company in developing the first commercial power plant producing energy by fusion.Related: 5 Key Takeaways From CERAWeek

“Fusion is the true energy source of the future, as it is completely sustainable, does not release emissions or long-term waste, and is potentially inexhaustible. It is a goal that we are increasingly determined to reach quickly,” Eni’s chief executive Claudio Descalzi said in statement last Friday.

Eni and MIT have been collaborating for years in joint research and development projects, including in solar technologies, carbon capture and storage, and wearables to improve workplace safety in the oil and gas industry.

Now Eni is betting on fusion energy developments with CFS that has also attracted U.S. investment funds.

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