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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.”

Fast Company

MIT startup Ubiquitous Energy has created transparent solar panels that can also generate electricity, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. “The windows, with two panes of glass that are sealed together, have wires that can be connected either directly to something next to the window – such as a light or electronic blinds – or connected to a battery in the building or back into the electric grid,” writes Peters.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporters Andrew Fillat and Henry Miller highlight Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno’s calculations which find that “over the life cycle of power plants, which includes construction, mining, transport, operation, decommissioning and disposal of waste, the greenhouse-gas emissions for nuclear power are 1/700th those of coal, 1/400th of gas, and one-fourth of solar.”

Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe Magazine, Andrew Nemethy chronicles the work of Prof. Maria Telkes, who was known as the “Sun Queen” and developed the first habitable building heated by the sun. Nemethy writes that “almost everything she did broke ground. As a prominent and outspoken female scientist, she defied stereotypes.”


Frank O’Sullivan speaks with Lyndsey Gilpin of Forbes about several states in the U.S. that are investing in renewable energy. O’Sullivan says that, “as the economics of solar in particular have improved, the economic rationale is beginning to be more broadly appreciated.”


In an interview, MIT Prof. Gang Chen described the potential applications of his new spongelike structure to Kiley Kroh of ClimateProgress. "Think about water treatment, desalination or treating wastewater," Chen said. "One typical way is to evaporate the water, condense it; of course, you need an energy source to do that. In this case, if we can use solar energy, it could produce better technology."


Kristine Wong reports for Takepart, a division of Participant Media, that "MIT scientists have invented a simple but ingenious device" to generate steam. Gang Chen, who heads MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering, explains what makes it work: "First, it’s black in color, so it absorbs the light very effectively. Secondly, it’s porous to allow water to come in. Third, it’s insulating, so it absorbs sunlight and turns it into heat."

Boston Globe

“The high-tech benches were invented by MIT Media Lab spinoff Changing Environments,” writes Meghan Irons of The Boston Globe about new solar-powered “smart benches” coming to Boston. “Your cellphone doesn't just make phone calls, why should our benches just be seats?” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says of the project. 


“Instead of trying to balance output at the panel level, the students looked to balance at the individual cell level,” writes Sami Grover of The Huffington Post about a team of MIT students who developed an integrated chip to solve the problem caused by shade on solar panels. “The result was both better performance and considerably lower cost.”

Scientific American

Writing for Scientific American, Geoffrey Giller explores a new device developed by MIT researchers that combines elements of both photovoltaic cells and solar-thermal thermal systems to generate power from the sun.