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The Tech

MIT has announced a new climate action plan aimed at helping the Institute tackle climate change, reports Kristina Chen for The Tech. The plan offers increased opportunities for student involvement and a new organizational structure. Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research, explains that MIT feels “that it’s our responsibility and duty to try to make a genuine difference, and to do that, we’re going to need the help of everyone in the community.” 

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.

CNN

Prof. Robert Jaffe speaks with CNN reporter Stephanie Bailey for a piece that explores how the rivalry between Edison, Tesla and Westinghouse helped lead to transformations in the development of electricity. Bailey also features alumnus Joel Jean and his solar tech startup.

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.”

Bloomberg

MIT researchers have analyzed the role of long-duration energy storage technologies and found that large storage systems have the potential to lower electricity prices in a carbon-free grid by up to 40%, writes Eric Roston for Bloomberg. 

VICE

A study by researchers from MIT, Yale and Purdue finds that leaving the camera on during video meetings is a contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, reports Hannah Smothers for Vice. “Just one hour of videoconferencing or streaming, for example, emits 150-1,000 grams of carbon dioxide (a gallon of gasoline burned from a car emits about 8,887 grams), requires 2-12 liters of water and demands a land area adding up to about the size of an iPad Mini,” the researchers write.

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.”

WESA

Graduate student Caroline White-Nockleby discusses her new white paper that explores the regional impact of the decline in coal production. “Employment in the [coal] industry has decreased from around 3,800 jobs to around 2,800 direct jobs in the past five years,” says White-Nockleby .”They also have a big role in the tax base. Coal companies pay taxes on the value of the coal itself that’s underground, and they also pay property taxes.”

Radio Boston (WBUR)

“What we need to do, especially as we move more towards intermittent energy that we can’t predict as well as the output of thermal power plants is to keep adding to that resiliency,” says Robert Stoner, deputy director of the MIT Energy Initiative. Stoner discussed the recent failures of Texas’ power grid and what New England can learn from these events on WBUR’s Radio Boston.

The Hill

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with The Hill reporter Rachel Frazin about her research that demonstrates people can save more than 30% in emissions by switching to electric vehicles. “One can see an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, even with today’s power grid and today’s power supply. It’s a really important step to electrify as many vehicles as possible, and quickly,” says Trancik. 

WBUR

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Jesse Remedios of WBUR about her new study that identifies locations where electric vehicle charging stations would have the most impact and help increase the adoption of electric vehicles. “It's important to make sure that chargers are placed where people can charge without having to delay their activities,” Trancik says. 

New York Times

New York Times reporter Brad Plumer spotlights a new study by Prof. Jessika Trancik that finds “new chargers on residential streets, as well as high-speed charging stations along highways, would go a long way to supporting an electric-vehicle boom.”