Progress in the development of fusion energy has gained momentum in recent years. However, questions remain across key subject areas that will affect the path to commercial fusion energy. The purpose of this review is to expose socio-economic areas that need further research, and from this assist in making recommendations to the fusion community, (and policy makers and regulators) in order to redirect and orient fusion for commercialisation: When commercialised, what form does it take? Where does it fit into a future energy system? Compared to other technologies, how much will fusion cost? Why do it? When is it likely that fusion reaches commercialisation? Investigations that have sought to answer these questions carry looming uncertainty, mainly stemming from the techno-economics of emerging fusion technology in the private sector, and due to the potential for applications outside of electricity generation coming into consideration. Such topics covered include hydrogen, desalination, and process-heat applications.
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