The MIT Energy Initiative podcast ran from 2018 to 2021, publishing 40 episodes on energy topics including nuclear, solar, storage, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, with guests from academia, government, small startups, and large corporations.

Episode archive


Whether you’re new to the podcast or a long-time listener, we want to thank you for being here.

Episode #40
Carbon and the cloud

Maud Texier, head of energy development at Google, on the carbon footprint of the internet, the role of data centers, and how Google and others are working to make the internet carbon-free.

Episode #39
Starting from space

Maria Zuber, vice president for research at MIT, on a lifelong interest in space, the human side of energy, and MIT as a testbed for climate solutions.

Episode #38
Sustainable hydropower

Gia Schneider, co-founder and CEO of Natel Energy, on early climate inspirations, founding a company, and how she’s revolutionizing hydropower.

Episode #37
Energy decentralization in Africa

Ije Ikoku Okeke, CFO of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, on decentralizing energy in urban and rural Nigeria, micro-grids, and their biggest technology barrier.

Episode #36
Digitalization and the power grid

Mark Thompson, director of digital delivery at National Grid, on digitalization, industry standards, and the day-to-day of how our grid is being converted to renewable energy.

Episode #35
Energy connectivity in Africa

Vera Songwe, under-secretary-general and executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, on economic development and energy connectivity in Africa.

Episode #34
Energy access in Africa and beyond

Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All and co-chair of UN-Energy, on energy access, electrification in Nigeria, and the power of data.

Episode #33
Cost of car ownership

David Keith, assistant professor at the MIT Sloan School, and Joanna Moody, research program manager at MITEI's Mobility Systems Center, on why we value our cars and what it means for sustainable urban mobility in the future.

Episode #32
International Energy Agency

Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, on junior beginnings, energy priorities, and personal challenges.

Episode #31
Energy and filmmaking

Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology and professor at University of Texas at Austin, and founder and chairman of the Switch Energy Alliance, on energy and filmmaking in the developing world.

Episode #30
Building technology

Jessica Granderson, staff scientist and deputy of research programs for the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, on building analytics, energy efficiency, and the grid.

Episode #29
The science of solar

Frank van Mierlo, CEO of 1366 Technologies, on the science of solar, green hydrogen, and an unexpected skill resulting from an MIT education.

Episode #28
America’s largest municipal utility

Paula Gold-Williams, president and CEO of CPS Energy, on running the nation’s largest municipally owned gas and electric utility.

Episode #27
Climate tech startups

Shreya Dave, CEO of Via Separations, and Johanna Wolfson, principal at Prime Impact Fund, on their paths from studying at MIT to working for and investing in climate tech startups.

Episode #26
Renewable energy trends

Danielle Merfeld, chief technology officer for GE Renewable Energy and corporate officer of GE, on trends in renewable energy technology and clean energy journey.

Episode #25
MIT Clean Energy Prize winners

Nitricity and Harmony Desal on the startup technologies that won the 2020 MIT Clean Energy Prize, the largest and longest-running competition for student clean tech startups.

Episode #24
Corporate climate strategy

Mariko Meier, vice president of marketing at Enel X, on building a career in energy and recent trends in corporate climate strategy.

Episode #23
Energy entrepreneurship

Tod Hynes, senior lecturer in the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, talks success, spinouts, and advice from teaching Energy Ventures.

Episode #22
A decade in energy

How the energy market in the U.S. has changed over the past decade—and lessons related to the COVID-19 pandemic—with guests from the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Episode #21
Energy technology evolution

Gökşin Kavlak and Jessika Trancik on their work to explain and forecast energy technology evolution.

Episode #20
Inside the Department of Energy Labs

Brian Anderson, director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, on what his lab is doing in carbon capture, materials, hydrogen, and more.

Episode #19
Energy economics and air pollution

John Reilly and Noelle Selin on energy economics and air pollution.

Episode #18
Mobility of the Future

Randall Field and Joanna Moody, MIT researchers, on how environmental policies, urban regulations, and consumer behaviors will affect the future of personal mobility.

Episode #17
The age of living machines

Susan Hockfield, professor of neuroscience and former president of MIT, on the convergence of biology and engineering, the role of universities in technology evolution, and becoming the first biologist to serve as president of MIT.

Episode #16
The economics of rooftop solar

Scott Burger, MITEI Energy Fellow and researcher, on rooftop solar economics, net metering, energy poverty, and electricity costs.

Episode #15

Stuart Madnick and Shaharyar Khan on cybersafety in the energy sector, industrial vulnerabilities, and applications for blockchain.

Episode #14
Electricity markets

Paul Joskow and Richard Schmalensee on the history and future of electricity markets.

Episode #13
Artificial intelligence

Nicholas Roy and Josh Joseph from the MIT Quest for Intelligence on the future of AI and its potential impact on fields ranging from energy to healthcare.

Episode #12
Batteries and storage

Professors Donald Sadoway and Yang Shao-Horn on researching, developing, and scaling energy storage technologies with guest host Bruce Gellerman of WBUR.

Episode #11
Game-changing storage

Will Chueh from Stanford and Yet-Ming Chiang from MIT on energy storage.

Episode #10
Game-changing materials

Professors Fikile Brushett, Elsa Olivetti, and Yogi Surendranath on building the next generation of materials for future energy systems.

Episode #9
Game-changing fusion

Dennis Whyte, head of the MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering Department and director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, on the history and future of fusion.

Episode #8
Game-changing solar

Vladimir Bulović, director of MIT.nano and co-director of the MITEI Solar Low-Carbon Energy Center, on what's coming in solar and how MIT.nano is changing how startups launch from MIT.

Episode #7
Energy trilemma

British Columbia's UNFCCC award-winning climate policies with George Heyman, minister of environment and climate strategy for British Columbia, and Sergey Paltsev, MIT Energy Initiative senior researcher and deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

Episode #6
Climate policy paths

Lessons from two "Pathways to Paris” climate policy and technology reports with Rob McKeel, GE Power VP and CMO, and Sergey Paltsev, MIT Energy Initiative senior researcher and deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

Episode #5
Emissions trading

Emissions trading systems and why governments should consider collaborating, with Constanze Haug, head of the secretariat of the International Carbon Action Partnership, and Michael Mehling, deputy director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.

Episode #4
The human environmental nexus

Frances Beinecke, past president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, discusses the U.S. climate trajectory, the need for national leadership, and how to make an impact on climate change.

Episode #3
The Future of Nuclear Energy

Jacopo Buongiorno, John Parsons, and Karen Dawson on the report, The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World.

Episode #2
Firm low-carbon energy resources

Jesse Jenkins and Nestor Sepulveda of MIT on what the future looks like for reducing CO2 emissions in electricity and the importance of firm low-carbon energy resources.

Episode #1
Negative carbon emissions

John Deutch of MIT and Arun Majumdar of Stanford University on potential technology and policy pathways for negative emissions and the importance of focusing on gigatonne-scale solutions.