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Alternative energy

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National Geographic

Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno speaks with National Geographic reporter Lois Parshley about the future of nuclear energy in the U.S. and western Europe. “Our analysis shows a big share of nuclear, a big share of renewables, and some storage is the best mix that is low-carbon, reliable, and at the lowest cost,” says Buongiorno of an MIT report showing the most cost-efficient, reliable grid comes from an energy mix.  

Vox

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Vox contributor David Roberts about the various aspects involved with transforming our world in response to climate change. “There is so much potential, but we really need to be more deliberate about how we are thinking about technology and that means understanding what it is, how it evolves and how we can push it faster towards these beneficial solutions,” says Trancik of the transition to clean energy technologies.

The Interchange

On The Interchange podcast, Prof. Jessika Trancik discusses her research exploring the cost declines in lithium-ion batteries and what it will take to reach mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.

The Conversation

Writing for The Conversation, Prof. Jessika Trancik explores how government policies can spark innovation in clean energy markets, helping to reduce carbon emissions. “Left to its own devices, technological change will not necessarily solve climate change, especially not in the limited time we have left to act,” writes Trancik. “But my research on technology evolution suggests that government policy can help propel this powerful process toward rapid progress and beneficial outcomes.”

The Economist

A new study by Prof. Jessika Trancik and postdoctoral associate Micah Ziegler examining the plunge in lithium-ion battery costs finds that “every time output doubles, as it did five times between 2006 and 2016, battery prices fall by about a quarter,” reports The Economist. “A doubling in technological know-how, measured by patent filings, is associated with a 40% drop in price.”

BBC News

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with the BBC Newshour about her new study analyzing the dramatic decline in the costs of lithium-ion batteries. Trancik explains that the reduced price, “opens up markets for electric vehicles for more people. The battery makes up a substantial portion of the total cost of an electric vehicle and the fact that costs have fallen by 97% over the last few decades means that these cars are no longer just for the wealthy.”

Guardian

A series of papers by MIT researchers demonstrates how their design for a new nuclear fusion reactor should work, reports Oscar Schwartz for The Guardian. “Fusion seems like one of the possible solutions to get ourselves out of our impending climate disaster,” says Martin Greenwald, deputy director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Henry Sanderson spotlights Prof. Donald Sadoway’s work developing new battery chemistries that would allow batteries to store energy for longer than six hours.

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, Martin Greenwald, deputy director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, explores the potential of fusion power. Greenwald examines how recent advances in high-temperature superconductors and recent investments in fusion technology from the private sector could “alter the landscape and offer the possibility of a dramatic speed-up in the development of this new energy source.”

The Washington Post

MIT researchers have published a series of new papers demonstrating that the design for the SPARC compact nuclear fusion reactor “is both technically feasible and could produce 10 times the energy it consumes,” reports Dino Grandoni for The Washington Post.

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter Caroline Delbert writes that new research by MIT scientists provides evidence that the compact nuclear fusion design they are developing should be feasible. Delbert writes that the researchers may be able to get the SPARC reactor online within 10 years by “improving materials and shrinking costs.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that a series of papers by MIT researchers finds that the designs for the SPARC compact nuclear fusion experiment should be viable. “Engineers expect their SPARC reactor, or tokamak, to be much more powerful than previous experimental reactors,” writes Hays. 

The New York Times

In a series of new papers, MIT researchers provide evidence that plans to develop a next-generation compact nuclear fusion reactor called SPARC should be viable, reports Henry Fountain for The New York Times. The research “confirms that the design we’re working on is very likely to work,” says Martin Greenwald, deputy director for MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center. 

Wired

MIT researchers have developed a new method for potentially increasing solar cell efficiency beyond the theoretical limit, reports Daniel Oberhaus for Wired. “What’s cool here is that this is a fundamentally different approach from traditional photovoltaics,” says Joseph Berry of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Boston Globe

Larry Edelman at The Boston Globe reports that Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) has completed its first round of venture financing with a total of $115 million. “CFS is working with the Plasma Science and Fusion Center at MIT to develop what it hopes will be the first commercial system that creates power using nuclear fusion,” writes Edelman.