Climate change goals and oil production are clashing in the U.S.
National Geographic · July 19, 2021
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.
U.S. Department of Energy targets vastly cheaper batteries to clean up the grid
The New York Times · July 14, 2021
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a new goal to reduce the cost of grid-scale, long-duration energy storage by 90 percent by 2030. MITEI’s Nestor Sepulveda SM ’16 PhD ’20 says, “One big obstacle right now is that there’s no policy requirements for utilities to build long-duration storage.”
Meet the world’s most influential women engineers
Forbes · July 3, 2021
Forbes has released a list of the 100 most influential female engineers across the globe. Four of the top 10 are MIT faculty members, including Barbara Liskov, the Ford Professor of Engineering, Dava Newman, the Apollo Professor of Aeronautics, and MITEI affiliates Daniela Rus, the director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Dina Katabi, the Andre and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
How to get all the toothpaste out of the tube
The Economist · May 20, 2021
MIT spinout LiquiGlide’s super slippery, food-safe coating will be used by Colgate to create a new line of toothpaste that promises to deliver every last drop. Co-founded by Kripa Varanasi (Mechanical Engineering), the initial research for LiquiGlide was supported by MITEI’s Seed Fund Program.
How green are electric vehicles?
New York Times · May 19, 2021
Jessika Trancik (Institute for Data, Systems, and Society) discusses the benefits of EVs over hybrid vehicles in achieving our emissions reduction goals. Her lab has created an interactive tool that compares the relative climate impacts of a wide array of different cars based on range of relevant factors.
The controversial future of nuclear power in the U.S.
National Geographic · May 4, 2021
Jacopo Buongiorno (Nuclear Science and Engineering) discusses findings from MITEI’s Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon Constrained World study and the need for significant cost reductions if nuclear energy is going to play a significant role in decarbonizing the U.S. power sector.
MIT spinout LiquiGlide lands $13.5 million to make toothpaste tubes less frustrating
Boston Globe · April 29, 2021
MIT spinout LiquiGlide announced that it has secured $13.5 million in funding, bringing its total raised to $50 million. Co-founded by Kripa Varanasi (Mechanical Engineering), LiquiGlide has developed a slippery coating for the inside of bottles or tubes that prevents sticking of any viscous liquids. The initial research for LiquiGlide was supported by MITEI’s Seed Fund Program.
More clean energy will demand bigger battery storage to power New England grid
WSHU Public Radio · April 23, 2021
Elsa Olivetti (Materials Science and Engineering) and Chris Knittel (MIT Sloan School of Management) discuss the future of renewable energy in New England.
Transmission upgrades could hold the key to New England clean energy goals
Vermont Public Radio · April 21, 2021
Christopher Knittel (Sloan School of Management) discusses the challenges of gaining approval for new cross-state or cross-country transmission lines, which are essential to assisting New England in reaching its clean energy goals.
Could tiny sensors keep methane out of the atmosphere—and homes?
PBS NOVA · April 12, 2021
Tim Swager (Chemistry) and his team have developed customizable and inexpensive sensors that can detect and monitor methane in a wide array of contexts—from industrial, natural, or home settings—with the goal of mitigating the gas’ harmful impacts.
Technology innovation gives government leverage to drive down emissions fast – here’s how
The Conversation · April 7, 2021
Jessika Trancik (Institute for Data, Systems, and Society) explores how government policies can help spark innovation in solar, wind and battery markets, helping to reduce carbon emissions.
How a World Expo helped power the planet
CNN · April 6, 2021
Robert Jaffe (Physics) and Joel Jean SM ’13 PhD ’17, co-founder and CEO of Swift Solar (a solar technology start-up), comment on the roles that World Expos have played in promoting energy technology development throughout history.
Negative emissions, positive economy
MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change · April 4, 2021
Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, a negative emissions process that converts biomass into energy and captures and stores the carbon, could be an economically effective tool to meet global climate goals when paired with dramatic emissions-reduction measures, says a new study from MITEI and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.
Lithium battery costs have fallen by 98% in three decades
The Economist · March 31, 2021
The price of lithium-ion batteries has dropped significantly since 1991, according to a new analysis by Jessika Trancik (Institute for Data, Systems, and Society) and others. The analysis shows the drop parallels similar improvements in solar and wind energy technologies and that further steep declines could be possible.
'Big storage' is the next big technology in the climate fight
Bloomberg Green · March 30, 2021
Innovative, low-cost long duration energy storage technologies could make a large impact in a more affordable and reliable energy transition. A new paper in Nature Energy by researchers at MITEI and Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment evaluates the role and value that these technologies could have in securing a carbon-free electric grid and find that they have the potential to lower electricity prices in a carbon-free system by up to 40%.
Why we aren’t at ‘peak car’ yet—and what can reverse the trend
MIT Sloan School of Management · March 22, 2021
In a recent MITEI podcast, Joanna Moody of MITEI's Mobility Systems Center and David Keith, a professor in the MIT Sloan System Dynamics Group, address three important questions about how to shift the U.S. away from private car ownership.
GM signs deal with MIT-spinout to reduce electric vehicle battery costs by 60%
CNBC · March 11, 2021
SolidEnergy Systems, a spinout of MIT, and General Motors will jointly develop next-generation electric vehicle batteries, featuring lithium metal instead of lithium-ion, that are expected to cut the cost of the technology by 60%.
Experts explain why green hydrogen costs have fallen and will keep falling
S&P Global Market Intelligence · March 5, 2021
MITEI Research Scientist Dharik Mallapragada discusses how decreased costs of wind and solar have paved the way towards falling costs in other low-carbon sectors as well. His comments are from a panel discussion at the 2021 CERAWeek conference.
MIT Spinoff To Build Commercial Fusion Energy Campus In Devens
WBUR · March 3, 2021
Commonwealth Fusion Systems announced that it will build a 47-acre research and manufacturing campus in Devens, Massachussetts, with the goal of bringing fusion power to market. The campus will house their experimental fusion device, SPARC, and the company expects to double its workforce. CFS is an MIT spinoff for which MITEI helped facilitate initial collaborations and funding through member company Eni S.p.A.
George Shultz — an environmentalist and technologist ahead of his time
The Boston Globe · February 23, 2021
Susan Hockfield, MIT President Emerita, and Ernest J. Moniz, 13th U.S. Secretary of Energy and founding director of MITEI, memorialize the late George Shultz, a leader of U.S. domestic and foreign policy, noted academic, and champion for climate action. Secretary Shultz served as the inaugural chair of MITEI’s External Advisory Board for over a decade and was a central figure in shaping MITEI and its initiatives.