Kramer Akli Headshot

"By 2050 our energy demand is going to be huge."

Kramer Akli, Department of Energy, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences

The federal government is accelerating its support of pathbreaking fusion power research, ramping up three fusion research hubs and developing private sector engagement in next generation nuclear power. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Kramer Akli who is with the Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences.

“What we are hoping on for the hubs in four years is to give us a clear picture which inertial fusion approach we can pursue,” said Akli.

DOE has committed to spend $42 million over four years to support research into the use of lasers to fire up fusion, the process that powers the sun. This comes after researchers achieved a a significant milestone in 2022 called “scientific breakeven.”

“For the first time in history we have achieved ignition and that you can get more energy out of the target,” he said.

Overall, DOE is spending $500 million dollars a year on fusion.

“With these three national hubs, we have leading institutions, but they bring together more than 30 institutions from national labs, universities, and the private sector to tackle some of these challenges.”

“What we have today that we didn’t have five, 10 or 20 years ago is we have a private sector, more than 50 companies, that are pursuing fusion energy and we have attracted more than $6 billion dollars in investments,” said Akli.

Kramer Akli has been with the Department of Energy since 2016.

He has a PhD in Applied Science from the University of California, Davis. He received a BS in Plasma Physics from National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute).