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Same with Hydrogen Fuel Cell's.  On small scales they can work well, but not at the production level we have been expecting for the last 20 years.   

Well, I know several scientists working on fusion right now in the private sector.  They have never been as positive as they are right now.  One of their company's just got a $100 million check from a single invester.   They are at same point of development that electric cars were in about 2005.  Wouldnt want to bet against them.

For a project like a fusion reactor, $100 mill is a drop in a lake. I recommend watching this video:

The international collaboration for the ITER fusion reactor had an initial cost estimate of between $3 to $4 BILLION. The latest estimates put it at over $60 BILLION.
Even if it works, the estimated power output would only be 500 MW thermal. By the time this energy is converted to steam, to mechanical energy, and finally to electricity, that number would drop to around 150 MW electric.
For comparison, the two fission reactor plants I used to run output around 1,200 MW electric each with a modern day estimated construction cost of $2 to $3 BILLION.
That's 16 times the output for 5% of the cost.

$100 million from a single investor in first round.  That is same as was done by Space X.  That investment now sits at over $30 Billion. That is the type of funding level we are talking about.  Remember how everyone said reusable rockets couldnt be done and price of satellite deployment couldnt be reduced (let alone have Mars capable rocket)?  That was less than twenty years ago.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is a space-transportation startup company founded by Elon Musk. It designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. It is developing the partially reusable launch vehicles Falcon 1 and Falcon 9. Originally based in El Segundo, SpaceX now operates out of Hawthorne, California, USA.

SpaceX was founded in June 2002 by Musk who had invested $100 million of his own money in the company as of March 2006

Wall street is in.
Governments have spent billions of dollars studying the emissions-free energy source. Now, private ventures are building smaller, faster, cheaper reactors.

Yes, private industry is more efficient that any government and they are making advancements (they claim), but it seems most of the "Private" companies are, at least, partly funded by governments. Unfortunately, that often results in fraud and false claims just for the money.
I'm not saying that's always the case, but chances are, there are some fraudulent practices going on.

That said, what I'd like to see is funding in the amounts used for fusion research going towards other clean, renewable energy generation methods.
I've followed progress in the hydrogen based energy generation field for years now. Every time I see a development that shows promise, it gets a few headlines and then nothing. A lot of the sites are even taken down with a lot of them being for colleges and universities.

Space-X does put rockets in space cheaper and more efficient than NASA and other space agencies, but they also benefited from all the governmental research that went before. It's a lot easier and cheaper to improve something than it is to create it. To some extent, private company research into fusion is based on the governmental researched methodology, as well, with different ways of approaching the same fundamental approach.


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