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What Are Elon Musk’s Ultimate Goals? Overview Of Tesla & SpaceX Plans

What's the ultimate goal of Elon Musk? As some would have it, he's a money grubber who only exists because of government "subsidies" (presumably a reference to the federal EV tax credit, which is open to consumers buying electric cars from any auto manufactures, and to California's air pollution reduction programs). As others would have it, he's a savior of the world who will "colonize" Mars and transition the world away from fossil fuels

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Germany Looks to Phase Out Coal. But Does it Matter?

A proposal in Germany to phase out coal made headlines this month, but would barely make a dent global coal consumption, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). If Europe's largest economy goes ahead with plans to shutter its more than 46 gigawatts of coal-based generating capacity, global consumption would only …

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MIT Hillel receives Outstanding Campus Award

MIT Hillel has been recognized once again at the Hillel International Global Assembly, which was held in Denver Dec. 4-7. Fresh off their previous award the year prior for strengthening the global Hillel movement, MIT Hillel took home another honor — the Phillip H. and Susan Rudd Cohen Outstanding Campus Award, putting them in the top two Hillels in the movement. “It was actually a really exciting conference,” says Rabbi Michelle Fisher, executive director of MIT Hillel. “This was the first time that International …

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Political Methodology Lab to dig deep into new kinds of data

Political scientists with a quantitative bent have long relied on time-tested tools such as in-person and telephone surveys and official government statistics. But the rapid ascendance of digital technology and the emergence of new channels for communication and information pose a challenge for data-based social science. “Technology has completely changed how we get political news and form opinions, with people interacting almost entirely through social media like Facebook and Twitter,” says Teppei Yamamoto, the Alfred …

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Renault ZOE Wins “Best Ultra-Low Emissions Car” Award At Fleet World Honours (Again)

The Renault ZOE has reaffirmed its ever-increasing popularity with business users after being named the ‘Best Ultra-Low Emission Car' for the second consecutive year at the Fleet World Honours 2018. Hosted by Fleet World magazine, the annual awards, held today at the Royal Automobile Club in London, recognize vehicles, individuals and service providers that demonstrate excellence in the fleet sector in terms of innovation, quality, and sustainability

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How ‘Demand Flexibility’ Could Boost Renewables and Save Texas Billions

‘Demand flexibility' is Rocky Mountain Institute's term for the capability of water heaters, air conditioners, plug-in electric vehicles, and other loads to provide a massive set of benefits to the grid, if they're smart enough to handle it. On Wednesday, RMI released a new report on the demand flexibility equation, modeled on America's version of an islanded energy market -- Texas's transmission power grid. The …

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Chaos and climate: Celebrating two pioneers of modern meteorology

Our understanding of atmospheric and climate dynamics, as well as weather prediction and its limits, would not be what it is today without advances in the fundamental science of modern meteorology that took place at MIT in the post WWII era. Much of this is thanks to two prominent MIT meteorologists born a hundred years ago, but whose work is very much relevant today. Earlier this month, the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) celebrated …

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A microbial approach to agriculture

The ability of animals to digest plant material is facilitated by tiny microbes in the gut that can break down complex carbohydrates. This dependency on microbes is most extreme in herbivores such as cows, which have developed a symbiotic relationship with their gut microbes. Cow microbiomes — the assemblage of microbes that inhabit their digestive system — have tremendous importance for agriculture, as they mediate the conversion of solar energy, stored in plant tissues, into animal protein consumed by humans across the …

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What About Florida? Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, & Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State — Part 7

The big positive news mid-2017 is that FPL is moving quickly ahead with plans to install a lot of utility solar. The reason is not due to altruistic aspirations by the utility or a desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but rather because this very low-cost mid-day electricity generation will allow FPL to alter its mid-summer resource dispatch order so that the least efficient natural gas steam plants can be seldom used and the cost of generation will be lower. And that means higher profits, both from the investments in the …

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The Public Finance Push to Build the World’s Largest Solar Complex

Efforts to boost Egypt's solar market have created a massive pipeline of work and attracted virtually every kind of PV ecosystem player -- except private investors. Private-sector financiers remain skittish about Egypt's potential despite the country hosting an award-winning solar complex that is set to become the largest in the world. The Benban complex, near Aswan, this year bagged a Project Finance International Global Multilateral of the Year award after 29 projects, representing almost 1.5 …

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Total Wind Capacity Surges While Total Number Of Turbines May Soon Plummet: Indulging In 4 Decades Of Danish Wind Energy Data

The Danish Energy Agency Energistyrelsen, which monitors and supports development in the energy and supply sectors in the country, has updated its overview of installed wind turbines on land and at sea to include 2017, thus giving a full 4 decades of data.

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Experts Predict Grid Parity For Renewables To Begin In Mid-2020s, Reveals Lloyd’s Register

A new study published this week by Lloyd's Register, based on surveys of 800 professionals and experts from around the world, reveals that renewable energy sources like solar and wind are likely to begin reaching grid parity around the world beginning in China in 2022, but that despite this, sustained increases in investments will still be hard to come by.

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Subaru plug-in hybrid, more electric-car sales, BMW i3 discount, CAFE cuts coming soon: Today’s Car News

Today, $10K off a BMW i3, what it would take to get more electric-car buyers, details on the coming Subaru plug-in hybrid, and the unlikely reason the Trump administration may use to slash fuel-economy requirements. All this and more on Green Car Reports. What would it take to get more shoppers interested in electric cars? We polled our Twitter...

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European Wind Industry Installs Record 15.7 Gigawatts In 2017, Faces Uncertain Future

The European wind energy industry installed a record 15.7 gigawatts of new wind energy capacity in 2017, bringing its cumulative total up to an impressive 169 gigawatts (GW), but the future for the industry is uncertain after a messy transition to an auction system and continued lack of clarity for post-2020 Government renewable ambitions

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MIT alumnus to compete in Winter Olympics

AJ Edelman '14 will compete in the men's skeleton for Israel during the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 8:00 p.m. EST. Watch the men's skeleton races live online at the NBC Olympic Channel. A club hockey player at MIT and former competitive body builder, Edelman caught the Olympic bug while watching the Olympic bobsled trials in the Burton 2 lounge in 2013. Learning more about the bobsled led to an interest in the specialized …