Here is an opinion which almost no one who is not Swedish shares, as of now.
The opinion is that the bottom line for LENR (being relevant for the future) and for this being the “best” conference in a while, really boils down to one detail: muons. Nothing else which has happened in almost 30 years of the (occasionally inspired) research effort starting in 1989 matters very much if indeed the Holmlid technique for muons is real and we figure out the best use for them. The Swedes (OK this category should include Iceland and Norway too) who were at the conference are measuring “something” which they believe are copious levels of muon production. These particles could be some other mystery particle, but many specialists think it is muons. No one has ever had a source of ultracheap muons before so therefore no one realizes what can be done with them – other than that they are particularly absorbed by a few heavy elements, especially by the fissile isotope of uranium. The Swedes realize that there is a basic problem in finding the so-called “killer app” for ultracheap muons since they do not react easily and in fact are poorly understood. No one else seems to give this basic problem much thought since they are not fully aware of how cheaply the muons can be produced, and unfortunately, Holmlid has suffered recent health problems. Fortunately for the World, the research has been funded by a startup incubator group “GU Ventures AB”, the holding company linked to the University of Gothenburg which is named “UltraFusion Nuclear Power AB”, and which has actually been in business for several years. The goal is new type of nuclear reactor. The actual type of reactor chosen will be the “killer app” and it may not be what you are thinking – which is something like cold fusion, or even hot fusion. There are several avenues to proceed in finding the best application for cheap muons but the most likely one to be profitable – which is also the least likely to be enthusiastically talked about – is simply a way to massively enhance nuclear fission. In effect, it should be possible to substitute muons for free neutrons, to a large extent and thereby to achieve critical mass in a fuel which is far, far from critical without said muons operating as a trigger. Most LENR proponents do not want to talk about fission. Actually they see it as a deal-killer, so to speak instead of a killer-app … yet consider this. The US military has designed and produced a small modular reactor for many years, going back to the USS Nautilus in 1958. The fuel is enriched Uranium and expensive. However, in mass production with cheap fuel everything changes, especially when you have a reactor design already in place which is known to work well and is pf a size which can be of civilian interest. Which is to say -- if and when a modular, mass-produced, small and inherently safe fission reactor, with no real proliferation risk - comes along which can employ unenriched fuel (natural uranium or thorium) and is itself subcritical – then the World becomes a different place in the context of cheap and abundant energy. That may not be ideal, as there is still waste to deal with - but unlike hot fusion or cold fusion, we are not far from finding out the limitations - since so much of the background technology is already in place and works very well.