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The Boston Globe

Researchers from MIT and MIT spinoff Quaise Energy speak with Boston Globe reporter David Abel about their work developing a new way to drill as deep as 12 miles into the Earth’s crust, using a special laser, which could provide a way to tap the geothermal energy in the rocks. “This is game-changing,” Woskov said. “We now have the potential to exploit an energy source that . . . could unleash the virtually limitless supply of energy beneath our feet.”

Tech Briefs

Prof. Kripa Varanasi, graduate student Sreedath Panath, and a team of researchers are developing a water-free way to clear dust off of solar panels, reports Billy Hurley and Ed Brown for Tech Briefs. “Water is such a precious commodity, and people need to be careful about how to make use of this resource that we have,” says Varanasi. “The solar industry really needs to keep this in mind; we don’t want to be solving one problem and creating another.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Hiawatha Bray spotlights how a number of MIT spinoffs are working on changing the world’s energy-storage systems. “Behind these companies are key technological advances in chemistry and materials, many of them pioneered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” writes Bray. “These breakthroughs have put battery startups at the forefront of the region’s climate-tech sector.”

The Daily Beast

MIT researchers have developed a new water-free system that uses static electricity to clear dust from solar panels, reports Miriam Fauzia for The Daily Beast. “By using this technique, we can recover up to 95 percent of a solar panel’s power output,” explains graduate student Sreedath Panat.

Popular Science

Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang and his colleagues are developing a new, inexpensive iron-air battery technology that could provide multi-day storage for renewable energy by 2024 through their startup Form Energy, reports Anuradha Varanasi for Popular Science. Chiang explains that “the battery can deliver clean electricity for 100 hours at a price of only $20 kilowatts per hour – a bargain compared to lithium-ion batteries, which cost up to $200/kWh,” writes Varanasi.

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Chen Ly writes that MIT researchers have developed a new technique that uses static electricity to remove the dust from solar panels, which could save around 45 billion liters of water annually. “I think water is a precious commodity that is very undervalued,” says Prof. Kripa Varanasi. “What I’m hoping is this will spur more people to think about water issues.”

Scientific American

Steven Gonzalez Monserrate PhD ’22 writes for Scientific American about the ecological and environmental implications of our digital lives. “As [the cloud] continues to expand, its environmental impact increases, even as the engineers, technicians, and executives behind its infrastructures strive to balance profitability with sustainability,” writes Gonzalez Monserrate.

ABC News

ABC News reporter Mary Kekatos speaks with Prof. Kate Brown about concerns surrounding Russian troops’ recent seizure of the Chernobyl nuclear plant. “Conventional war and nuclear power are not a good combination,” says Brown. “Nuclear power requires security, stability and peace. It’s a tall order.”

E&E News

E&E News reporter Sara Schonhardt reporter speaks with Michael Mehling, deputy director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, about how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will impact the transition to cleaner energy in Europe. “I think it will lend further support to the not only environmental imperative of decarbonization, but also the strategic imperative of becoming energy independent with locally available renewables,” says Mehling.

WBUR

WBUR reporters Bruce Gellerman and David Greene spotlight Form Energy, a startup co-founded by MIT scientists with the mission to find a low-cost way to transform the global electric system. The startup “had a eureka moment when they thought about harnessing the rusting process to power batteries,” write Gellerman and Greene. 

The Verge

Prof. Kate Brown speaks with Verge reporter Justine Calma about the potential implications of fighting in the containment zone around Chernobyl. “It’s a continuing problem,” Brown says. “It’s supposed to be contained. It’s supposed to be left untouched. And that’s the problem with any kind of nuclear site. It demands stability and peace.”

USA Today

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with USA Today reporter Kate S. Petersen about claims that replacing all U.S. gas stations with equal capacity electric vehicle charging stations would require significant resources. “When we’re talking about EV charging, you don’t have to put charging stations everywhere you have gas stations today,” says Trancik. “This would not make sense as a plan for rolling out electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”

Bloomberg

Writing for Bloomberg Law, Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno, Elina Teplinsky of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and Jessica Lovering of Good Energy Collective make the case for nuclear power playing an important role in the transition to clean energy. “Because of the immensity of the looming crisis, no single energy source can be the climate silver bullet,” they write.

Financial Times

In a letter to the Financial Times, Prof. Donald Sadoway underscores the need for new smelting capacity to meet the growing need for copper for the transition to clean energy. “Imagine a process that produces superior metal at lower cost with zero greenhouse gas emissions,” writes Sadoway. “Such technology would recapture domestic market share from foreign producers. We must invent the future; we cannot simply legislate for it.”

CNBC

Ubiquitous Energy, an MIT startup, is developing technology to transform windows into surfaces that capture solar energy, reports Catherine Clifford for CNBC. “Ubiquitous makes a coating for windows that uses semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into electricity,” writes Clifford. “The coating is just nanometers thick and tiny wires connect the solar window to electrical systems where the energy is used.”