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The Economist

MIT researchers have developed a new system that uses solar power to sterilize medical tools, according to The Economist. The system “should cost just a tenth as much to make commercially as a conventional autoclave of equivalent potency.”

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Donna Lu writes that MIT researchers have developed a new portable, solar-powered device that could be used to sterilize medical instruments in resource-limited areas. “The new tool works even in hazy or cloudy conditions,” writes Lu. “It consists of a solar component that heats water to generate steam, which is then connected to a pressure chamber.”

Axios

Axios reporter Bryan Walsh highlights how MIT researchers have developed a new solar-powered device that can extract drinkable water from the air and “could help alleviate water scarcity in some of the world's driest regions.” Walsh notes that the new design “makes use of a more common material called zeolite, doubling its capacity to generate water.”
 

New Scientist

MIT researchers have developed a solar-powered system that is able to extract drinkable water from dry air, reports Layal Liverpool for New Scientist. “In areas where water scarcity is a problem, it’s important to consider different technologies which provide water, particularly as climate change will exacerbate many water scarcity issues,” says graduate student Alina LaPotin.

WCVB

WCVB-TV’s Mike Wankum visits MIT to learn about the Solar Electric Vehicle Team. “We are trying to prove that we can move away from cars that rely on gasoline or diesel,” explains undergraduate Salem Ali, “and move towards more electric vehicles, and potentially even vehicles that you don’t have to plug in.”

Wired

MIT researchers have developed a new method for potentially increasing solar cell efficiency beyond the theoretical limit, reports Daniel Oberhaus for Wired. “What’s cool here is that this is a fundamentally different approach from traditional photovoltaics,” says Joseph Berry of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Bloomberg News

In an article for Bloomberg News, Noah Smith highlights a study by MIT researchers that examines the factors influencing the decline in solar prices. The researchers found that, “from 1980 to 2001, government-funded research and development was the main factor in bringing down costs, but from 2001 to 2012, the biggest factor was economies of scale,” Smith explains.

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter David Grossman writes that MIT researchers have developed a conceptual design for storing renewable energy for the grid in tanks of white-hot molten silicon. The researchers estimate that their system, “would cost around half as much as the current cheapest form of renewable energy ready to scale out to an entire grid.”

Ars Technica

Writing for Ars Technica, Megan Geuss examines a new MIT study that finds, “government and private R&D spending contributed the most to cost-per-watt declines for solar panels since 1980. This spending spurred the low-level efficiency improvements that were important for the solar industry on a technical level.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Brad Plumer writes that a study by MIT researchers examines what forces contributed to the declining cost of solar panels. “We can cut emissions more quickly if we’re strategic about how we design energy policies and invest in R&D,” explains Prof. Jessika Trancik. “And one way to do that is to learn from past successes and figure out exactly why they happened.”

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Ed Crooks highlights a new study by MIT researchers identifying the key factors leading to the declining cost of solar power. The study highlights “the critical role played by government policy to help grow markets around the world.”

Vox

Vox reporter David Roberts writes about a new study by MIT researchers examining what factors contributed to bringing down the cost of solar panels. Roberts writes that the researchers found “policies that create incentives for private investors to develop and deploy solar panels are responsible for well over half of the decline in solar PV costs.”

Axios

Axios reporter Ben Geman writes that MIT researchers have found the most effective way to reduce emissions from electricity sources is to use a mix of renewable and other low-carbon tech options. “It’s not about specific technologies. It’s about those key roles that we need filled on the low-carbon team,” explains study co-author Jesse Jenkins.

Popular Mechanics

A study by MIT researchers demonstrates how air pollution can significantly reduce profits from solar panel installations, reports Avery Thompson for Popular Mechanics. The researchers found that in Delhi, “electricity generation is reduced by more than 10 percent,” Thompson explains, “which translates to a cost of more than $20 million.”

NBC News

In an article for NBC News about solar power, Corey Powell highlights Prof. Jeffrey Grossman’s work developing a material for a new chemical heat battery that could release energy on demand. “We’re creating materials that store thermal energy in completely new ways,” Grossman explains.