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MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)

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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.

CNBC

MIT researchers have found that while battery and fuel production for electric vehicles creates higher emissions than traditional cars, those emissions are offset by the greater energy efficiency of EVs. “Currently, the electric vehicle in the U.S., on average, would emit about 200 grams of CO2 per mile,” says senior research scientist Sergey Paltsev. “We are projecting that with cleaning up the grid, we can reduce emissions from electric vehicles by 75%, from about 200 (grams) today to about 50 grams of CO2 per mile in 2050.”

National Geographic

Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, emphasizes the importance of reaching net-zero emissions as fast as possible. “By pushing natural gas—which is indeed cleaner than coal, but it’s still a fossil fuel that releases a lot of CO2 and more importantly, a lot of methane—we are actually hurting renewables,” says Paltsev. 

Climate Now

Senior research engineer Howard Herzog speaks with Climate Now about carbon capture and storage, and how the technology could be used to help reach net-zero emissions.

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.