The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €250 million (£222m) of financing for research into fusion energy in Italy.
It will support the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) in launching the Divertor Tokamak Test (DTT), which aims to contribute towards the development of nuclear fusion energy.
The DTT facility has been created to respond to some of the key scientific and technological issues surrounding nuclear fusion, in particular the question of how to control the enormous amount of heat generated.
Around 1,500 scientists and technicians will be involved in the project.
Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, responsible for Climate Action and Energy, said: “To achieve a climate neutral Europe by 2050, we need to keep investing in new technological solutions. Fusion is a potential source of safe, non-carbon emitting and virtually limitless energy.
‘If we succeed in making a breakthrough in this technology it could significantly contribute to our efforts to make Europe the first climate neutral major economy. Today’s investment decision is one step towards this objective.”
Oxford-based start-up First Light Fusion believes gas will no longer be needed in the UK’s energy mix by the 2030s as it will be replaced with fusion energy.