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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.  

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. 

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.”

Guardian

A series of papers by MIT researchers demonstrates how their design for a new nuclear fusion reactor should work, reports Oscar Schwartz for The Guardian. “Fusion seems like one of the possible solutions to get ourselves out of our impending climate disaster,” says Martin Greenwald, deputy director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Ernest Moniz, the former U.S. Secretary of Energy, underscores the importance of addressing climate change. Moniz calls for providing “as many options and as much flexibility as possible to meet the deep decarbonization goal — and innovation is key. We need as many low- to no-carbon tools as can be developed. This inclusive approach is what will get us to a shared goal of climate risk mitigation the fastest.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Dharna Noor writes that a new report by MIT researchers finds that U.S. electricity demand could be met with currently available carbon-free technologies. The researchers found that “the best way to move the country to 100% carbon-free energy is to implement a nationwide plan, rather than taking a state-by-state or regional approach.”

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, Martin Greenwald, deputy director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, explores the potential of fusion power. Greenwald examines how recent advances in high-temperature superconductors and recent investments in fusion technology from the private sector could “alter the landscape and offer the possibility of a dramatic speed-up in the development of this new energy source.”

The Washington Post

MIT researchers have published a series of new papers demonstrating that the design for the SPARC compact nuclear fusion reactor “is both technically feasible and could produce 10 times the energy it consumes,” reports Dino Grandoni for The Washington Post.

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter Caroline Delbert writes that new research by MIT scientists provides evidence that the compact nuclear fusion design they are developing should be feasible. Delbert writes that the researchers may be able to get the SPARC reactor online within 10 years by “improving materials and shrinking costs.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that a series of papers by MIT researchers finds that the designs for the SPARC compact nuclear fusion experiment should be viable. “Engineers expect their SPARC reactor, or tokamak, to be much more powerful than previous experimental reactors,” writes Hays. 

The New York Times

In a series of new papers, MIT researchers provide evidence that plans to develop a next-generation compact nuclear fusion reactor called SPARC should be viable, reports Henry Fountain for The New York Times. The research “confirms that the design we’re working on is very likely to work,” says Martin Greenwald, deputy director for MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center.