Instead of the usual fission plants, lasers will be used to compress atomic nuclei until they join, releasing energy.
"This is an absolutely classic example of the connections between really high-grade theoretical scientific research, business and commercial opportunities, and of course a fundamental human need: tackling pressures that we're all familiar with on our energy supply," said David Willetts, the UK's science minister.
This is not the first time scientists and industries have pursued the harvesting of energy from nuclear fusion. In the UK a previous project involved the use of magnetic fields but budget concerns halted the process. Now, however, fusion energy might be closer than we think.