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MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)

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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.”

IEEE Spectrum

IEEE Spectrum reporter Prachi Patel writes that researchers from MIT and Google Brain have developed a new open-source tool that could streamline solar cell improvement and discovery. The new system should “speed up development of more efficient solar cells by allowing quick assessment of a wide variety of possible materials and device structures,” writes Patel.

Climate Now

Climate Now host Ozak Esu speaks with Senior Research Engineer Howard Herzog about the origins and mechanics of carbon capture technology. “The primary method today is what we call scrubbing. And it could be either chemical or physical scrubbing depending on the concentration,” says Herzog.

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Steven Zeitchik highlights Prof. Jessika Trancik’s work developing a carbon counter that details the carbon impacts of different cars and MIT startup Form Energy, which is “taking the oxidization process, normally only good for ruining your Saturday garage clean-up, and deploying it to store energy on power grids.” Says Trancik of the importance of allowing people the ability to take stock of their environmental impact: “One of the really important aspects of addressing climate change is bringing everyone into the discussion.”

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Tom Wilson writes that researchers from MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) have successfully demonstrated the use of a high-temperature superconductor, which engineers believe can allow for a more compact fusion power plant. “It’s the type of technology innovation that you know shows up every once in a while in a given field,” CFS chief executive, Bob Mumgaard, tells Wilson.

Yahoo News

Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, speaks with Brian Cheung of Yahoo Finance about climate change, the path to net-zero emissions and COP26. “What is extremely important is to send the clear signal that this policy [the Paris Climate Agreement] is going to stay,” says Paltsev of his hopes for COP26. “Because what the investors need, what the companies need, they need to see that these targets are solid, that we are not going to give away and give up, even though we are not there in terms of the emission reduction.”

The New Yorker

Researchers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Commonwealth Fusion Systems speak with The New Yorker’s Rivka Galchen about the history of fusion research and the recent test of their large high-temperature superconducting electromagnet. “I feel we proved the science. I feel we can make a difference,” says MIT alumna Joy Dunn, head of manufacturing at CFS. “When people ask me, ‘Why fusion? Why not other renewables,’ my thinking is: This is a solution at the scale of the problem.”

Fortune

Fortune reporter Shawn Tully writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers that examines the amount of e-waste Bitcoin generates. The researchers found that: “In 2020, the Bitcoin network processed 120 million transactions,” writes Tully. “For every sale or purchase recorded on the blockchain, the miners disposed of e-waste equal in weight to two iPhone 12 Minis. In other words, the industry trashed the equivalent of 240 million of the 135 gram mobile devices.”

Associated Press

Scientists from MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems have performed a successful test of the world’s strongest high temperature superconducting magnet, a crucial step in creating net positive energy from a fusion device, reports the Associated Press.

CNBC

CNBC reporter Catherine Clifford writes that researchers from MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems have successfully demonstrated the high-temperature superconducting electromagnet they developed, creating a 20 tesla magnetic field. “This magnet will change the trajectory of both fusion science and energy, and we think eventually the world’s energy landscape,” says Dennis Whyte, director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

Reuters

MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems scientists have created a 20 tesla magnetic field using a large, high temperature superconducting fusion magnet, a step towards creating a fusion power plant, reports Stephen Jewkes for Reuters. The researchers aim “to use the technology to build a commercially viable fusion power plant to generate zero-emission electricity.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor David Blackmon spotlights Ambri, an MIT startup that is developing liquid-metal batteries. Blackmon writes that Ambri has developing a new battery technology that could “help renewables like wind and solar scale up more rapidly in the coming years and help them occupy a larger share of electricity generation around the world.”

The Hill

Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, examines the findings of the IPCC report on climate change in a piece for The Hill, underscoring the need to take more aggressive action to cut carbon emissions. “Fossil fuels raised living standards in the U.S and much of the world," Paltsev writes, "but now the U.S. needs to lead the world with technology and policy options that ultimately will eliminate greenhouse gases from power generation, industry, transportation and other activities."

NECN

Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, speaks with NECN about the IPCC’s new report on climate change. “We have learned that we need to take much more aggressive actions,” says Paltsev. The new report “illustrates that we are passing a lot of thresholds. We now know not just from the modeling, but from the observations, that the situation is quite alarming so we better take action pretty soon.”

Bloomberg

Senior research engineer Howard Herzog speaks with Bloomberg about the challenges facing the carbon capture industry and how we can get to net-zero emissions.