Aug 13, 2020 - Economy

Chevron's venture capital arm buys stake in nuclear fusion startup Zap Energy

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Photo Illustration: Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Chevron is making a Series A investment in the three-year-old nuclear fusion startup Zap Energy, marking the latest foray by an oil-and-gas giant into companies outside a core business.

Why it matters: It's the first nuclear power investment from Chevron Technology Ventures, the company's in-house VC arm that's spreading money around a range of energy technologies.

The size of the investment was not disclosed. Seattle-based Zap has also received Energy Department funding.

The big picture: If — if! — decadeslong efforts to develop fusion power ever succeed, it promises an essentially limitless source of carbon-free power without the dangerous waste associated with traditional fission reactors.

Where it stands: Per Reuters, the huge oil-and-gas companies Equinor and Eni have also backed nuclear fusion startups.

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