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Energy Wire

Researchers at MIT have developed a cathode, the negatively-charged part of an EV lithium-ion battery, using “small organic molecules instead of cobalt,” reports Hannah Northey for Energy Wire. The organic material, "would be used in an EV and cycled thousands of times throughout the car’s lifespan, thereby reducing the carbon footprint and avoiding the need to mine for cobalt,” writes Northey. 

Newsweek

Prof. Jessika Trancik writes for Newsweek about the importance of government policy in supporting the transition to electric vehicles. “Policy is needed to make EVs widely accessible to people while the technology and markets continue to mature,” writes Trancik, “and to ensure the process moves quickly enough to help slow the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

Associated Press

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Associated Press reporter Alexa St. John to discuss electric vehicle emissions and ownership costs. Trancik notes, “buyers should consider total cost of ownership, which for an EV is generally less than that of a gas-powered counterpart due to savings on maintenance and fuel.”

GBH

Robert Stoner, interim director of the MIT Energy Initiative, speaks with Boston Public Radio hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude to discuss the climate crisis and some solutions being developed at MIT. "You have to be [optimistic]," says Stoner. "I do feel there are technological pathways that we can go down and get there. Solar and wind and storage get us an awful long way. We have to make these things cheaper, and there are an awful lot of people at MIT and at other great universities, and many companies, hammering away at those problems."

ClimateWire

ClimateWire reporter John Fialka writes that MIT engineers have developed a new process to convert carbon dioxide into a powder that can be safely stored for decades. “The MIT process gets closer to an ambitious dream: turning captured CO2 into a feedstock for clean fuel that replaces conventional batteries and stores electricity for months or years,” writes Fialka. “That could fill gaps in the nation's power grids as they transition from fossil fuels to intermittent solar and wind energy.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters spotlights how researchers at MIT have combined cement with carbon black to make concrete that can store energy as one of the climate tech innovations that provide hope “that it’s still possible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.” With this new technology, “the foundation of your future house could eventually store solar power from your roof,” explains Peters.

E&E News

Michael Mehling, deputy director of the Center for Energy and Environment Policy Research, speaks with E&E News reporter Benjamin Storrow about the impact of global climate deals on climate change. “The history of the Paris Agreement suggests that global climate deals do make a dent in emissions,” Mehling says. “But the impact can be subtle and felt over time.”

Time Magazine

Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang has been named to the TIME 100 Climate list, which highlights the world’s most influential climate leaders in business. “When it comes to cleantech, if it won’t scale, it doesn’t matter,” Chiang says. “This is a team sport—companies large and small, and governments state and federal, need to work together to get these new technologies out there where they can have impact.” 

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno speaks with Danny Lewis, host of The Wall Street Journal’s “Future of Everything” podcast, about the future of nuclear power plants. “As countries, regions, businesses contemplate their future plans for reducing carbon emissions, nuclear is one technology that they have got to consider,” says Buongiorno. “It's an incredibly dense energy source, so you don't need a big supply chain that continuously feeds the power plant with fuel, the same way that you would with coal, for example. Also, the machine itself, the reactor is very, very compact.”

The Independent

Principal Research Scientist Emre Gençer speaks with The Independent reporter Louise Boyle about natural hydrogen and its potential as a future renewable energy source. “There is a ‘mismatch’ where natural hydrogen is being discovered and where it could be used, which would require massive investments in completely new infrastructure,” says Gençer. “I think it will be part of the solution but we need to take it with a grain of salt.”

Newsweek

MIT researchers have developed a supercapacitor comprised of concrete and charcoal, that can store electricity and discharge as needed, reports Aleks Phillips for Newsweek. Researchers hope the device can provide “a cheap and architectural way of saving renewable energy from going to waste,” writes Phillips.

Scientific American

Johanna Mayer and Katie Hafner from Scientific American’s “The Lost Women of Science podcast spotlight the late former Prof. Mária Telkes and her work focused on the development of solar energy. “Dr. Mária Telkes died in 1995, at age 94,” says Mayer. “But her legacy lives on. Today, the number of people installing solar panels in their homes is consistently rising – and in a recent Pew study, 39% of homeowners surveyed said they were seriously considering going solar.”

Cipher

Cipher News editor Amy Harder spotlights the MIT Renewable Energy Clinic, a new course developed by Prof. Larry Susskind aimed at training students to be mediators in conflicts over clean energy projects. Harder notes that the course is focused on creating “collaboration that may slow down projects initially by incorporating more input but ultimately speed them up by avoiding later-stage conflicts.”

Time Magazine

A number of MIT spinouts and research projects – including the MOXIE instrument that successfully generated oxygen on Mars, a new solar-powered desalination system and MIT spinout SurgiBox – were featured on TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023 list.