Should we forget fusion and focus on geothermal power? [closed]

Firstly I can say that I would love us to come up with a sustainable fusion solution. However with the latest estimates being 2050 at the earliest for an effective fusion solution and the planets energy needs growing by the year should we not be looking at alternatives?

I understand that in the EU alone we are spending billions of Euro’s on an experimental fusion reactor.

We sit on top of a thin crust which is in turn on top of a mantle with abundant heat. Should we not be investing serious money into tapping into this heat source as a long term, sustainable solution to the planet’s energy needs?

How far could we get if the money used for fusion was diverted to geothermal drilling and research?

Answer

You can’t directly compare investment in geothermal power and fusion because they’re at completely different stages of development. We know how to use geothermal power; after all it’s already used in many parts of the world. The problem is that unless you live conveniently near a volcano it’s (currently) more expensive than using fossil fuels. Since the engineering issues are well understood, it’s not obvious how more investment in research will make it significantly cheaper.

By contrast, no-one has managed to get a fusion reactor to produce more power than it consumes, or at least not for longer than a few moments, and no-one knows whether it will ever be commercially viable. But if it can be made to work its potential is vastly greater than geothermal energy. Unless we do the research we’ll never know if fusion will work.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Matt Luckham , Answer Author : John Rennie

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