I think the ITER project, a grand-scale fusion project, is interesting. I'm troubled with it for a few reasons, though. I can't help but think that there's only a few reasons that we need it, and most of them have to do with power... of a controlling nature.
There's already a great big huge fusion reactor throwing more energy at us than we can collect, let alone use... every single day... the sun.
Efforts to create fusion reactors here on earth are great for these reasons:
1) Energy for space exploration
2) Productization of energy
3) Weapons innovation
Once we learn how fusion's done, we can build space craft from it that could potentially get us somewhere in the galaxy. That's all well and good, but will it happen before we poison our existing biosphere?
Once we have fusion reactors, energy moguls can sell it. Oh, great! Instead of energy productization through oil, we get energy productization through fusion... because we can't all have one of these great big huge reactors in our basements. At least it's renewable. If the moguls are benevolent, it might even be cheap.
Finally, once we have fusion reactors like this, we'll learn new ways to blow ourselves out of our collective misery... so I suppose the first two points are mute once this comes along.