Rezwan wrote: Do we have to blow up every last mountain before developing fusion?
Seems improbable. Fusion is seriously on course for twenty years. and world coal reserves are estimated in the centuries. I think it’s safe to say that not every mountain will go.
Answering rhetorical hyperbole aside, the implementation timeline for decommissioning the ENTIRE WORLD’S power infrastructure, and replacing it is quite long, and some of the more deleterious effects of fossil fuels are already being felt. It won’t be a pleasant century.
The timeline for replacing all the world’s power plants would be quite long *if* you assume the new plants have a similar cost. Then people are pretty much going to wait until end-of-life before replacing each plant.
However, at half a million bucks for a 20MW reactor, focus fusion reactors could replace a coal plant for less than the cost of one year of fuel. Any coal plant operator would come out way ahead by replacing his plant as quickly as possible, even if the plant is new. Since he could do it 20MW at a time, he could even buy the FF reactors with revenue, instead of needing a loan, and each new reactor will increase his profits more. With each reactor so small, capital requirements are so minimal that even a reasonably well-heeled individual could build a reactor and run a nice little business selling power to the grid.
And with a steady output and high capacity factor, we wouldn’t need a super-advanced smart grid either.
Focus fusion is the one technology I know of that would replace our infrastructure extremely quickly. Focus fusion plants would be installed as quickly as they could be rolled out of the factories.