As director of the renowned Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California, Dr. Goldstein was responsible for leading the laboratory and the technological and scientific advances achieved at LLNL in recent years. Dr. Goldstein's work has significantly advanced research knowledge of high energy density plasmas. These have been critical to advances made in laser and fusion research, such as those being pursued by Focused Energy.
Focused Energy has developed a method that can not only be used to generate climate-friendly energy but also make the energy commercially viable. State-of-the-art laser technology is used to initiate a fusion reaction between the atomic nuclei of two hydrogen isotopes, releasing "inertial fusion energy" (IFE). If successful, the energy yield from this is about one hundred times greater than the energy required to initiate the reaction. Thus, inertial fusion could be the key to nearly inexhaustible and clean energy production, as early as the next decade.
Focused Energy is pursuing the unique Proton Fast Ignition (PFI) approach. The method, invented by Prof. Roth, dissociates the fuel compression and ignition processes. The compressed fuel is shelled with ions from another high-power laser. The ions then deposit their kinetic energy. This facilitates the process of ignition, which ultimately releases energy. According to leading experts, the commercial use of inertial fusion energy on a global scale based on the fusion concept developed at LLNL will only become possible with the addition of the PFI approach as pursued by Focused Energy. Focused Energy plans to build the first experimental laser facility as early as this decade. This will serve as a prototype for commercial reactors to produce several gigawatts of climate-friendly energy.
Thomas Forner, CEO of Focused Energy said, "Bill's extensive expertise in managing research facilities and laboratories is a great asset to us as a company. We are delighted that he is now supporting us with his expertise. The fact that we have been able to attract pioneers like Bill ensures that we will play a leading role in our efforts to enable climate-friendly energy supplies worldwide."
With the commercial reactor, Focused Energy plans to achieve an electricity rate between 5 and 12 cents/kWh. To realize the project in the 2020s and to conduct the research, Focused Energy raised $15 million from venture capital firm Prime Movers Lab and multiple entrepreneurs, including Marc Lore, Tony Florence, and Alex Rodriguez.