The recent presentation from Francesco Piantelli of his data from nickel hydrogen LENR experiments seems to be another confirmation that when heated to a certain temperature, and under certain other conditions, excess energy can be obtained by combining nickel and hydrogen. At least four companies now — Leonardo, Defkalion, Brillouin and Nichenergy — have been formed to try exploit this phenomenon and bring it into the commercial realm.
At present the field of LENR is certainly on the fringes of science and as such is well outside the serious attention of the mainstream press. Throughout history it has not been uncommon for new discoveries which lie outside the comfort zone of acceptable science to be subject to suspicion, skepticism and ridicule. Sometimes it takes quite a long time before disbelief and old prejudices are laid aside.
What will it take for attitudes to change? It does not seem that at present experimental data showing clear energy gain through LENR is going to to attract the attention of the world. Francesco Celani presented a long catalogue of successful LENR experiments at CERN last month and it barely registered in the media. Apart from some discussion in the blogosphere the CERN LENR lectures seem to have been ignored by most prominent and influential scientists and commentators.
It would seem to me that ultimately most people won’t pay attention until there is some useful product in the marketplace providing energy at a reasonable price. Interesting experimental phenomena is not important to the majority of people. When it comes to energy, most people’s attention is focused on their utility bills and how much it costs to fill up the car with fuel. If LENR is not going to help them in their real lives, why follow it? Few people cared about online communication when it was confined to a few universities and military establishments — but the development of the World Wide Web (first popularized by the Netscape Navigator browser) made the Internet useable by in their daily lives, and has become an indispensable part of modern society.
For LENR to become a useful source of energy, there will need to be a tool developed that provides clear benefits to users. The race to do this is on between the early developers of this technology, and whoever can first bring LENR out of obscurity into the marketplace will make an important mark in history. If this happens a new energy age will be upon us.