Impact Investing | October 24, 2022

Lowercarbon doubles down on fusion energy with $250 million fund

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, Oct. 25 – As global economies electrify and new solutions like carbon capture and water desalination come online, power demand could triple over the next 20 years.

“We need cheaper, denser, renewable baseload energy everywhere,” wrote Lowercarbon’s Chris Sacca in announcing the firm’s new Q>1 fund, which was raised earlier this year. “At Lowercarbon, we believe it will come from fusion.” 

Fusion holds out promise for clean, safe, abundant energy by using super-high temperatures to fuse atoms and unleash energy – the same process that powers the sun. The key is generating more energy than it takes to spark a reaction, or Q>1, a milestone that dozens of fusion contenders are racing to achieve. 

The technology has been around for decades, but suddenly seems poised for a breakthrough. “It’s no longer a matter of if this will happen, it’s about when, and when is sooner than you think,” said Sacca. “Fusion companies will be among the most valuable enterprises in history.”

Age of abundance

Lowercarbon has already invested in “a wide range of approaches including tokamaks, stellarators, lasers, sheared flow z-pinch, and even some batshit insane orbitraps,” including Zap Energy and Commonwealth Fusion, which raised $1.8 billion in late 2021.

If one of those companies gets it right, it could open up a new era of clean, abundant, cheap energy that could upend long-held assumptions and business models.

“The upside of all this is that fusion will be experienced worldwide,” says Sacca. “There is no single greater catalyst for environmental equity than fusion power.”