The holy grail of the energy world, fusion technology involves smashing together atomic nuclei in a controlled fashion in order to combine them. Theoretically, it could provide virtually unlimited clean energy, eliminating the need for fossil fuels and even green energy alternatives like solar. After research stagnated on the technology in the ’70s, in recent years tech billionaires have been quietly shoveling money into startups in hopes of solving the world’s energy crisis and climate change in one go, the BBC reports.
Bezos has invested in the secretive General Fusion startup and Allen has invested in the even more secretive Tri Alpha. Both are pursuing different methods to create fusion energy—the same energy that powers the sun. Like other privately funded moonshot initiatives like Bezos’ Blue Origin, the tech billionaires investing in fusion believe the private sector can cut the bureaucracy of government-funded fusion research, which is slowed by red tape, and hasten the rollout of the technology, perhaps quite literally saving the planet as we know it.