The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) helps transform the global energy system to meet the needs of the future and helps build a bridge to that future by improving today's energy systems. The four components of the MITEI program are energy research, education, campus energy management, and outreach activities.
MITEI pairs MIT's research teams with industry members responsible for moving the products of this collaboration into the energy marketplace. The resulting enabling energy technologies have the potential to address multiple energy challenges; the delivery of energy products and services at scale; and the provision of energy products and services in highly complex policy, legal, and regulatory environments.
The MITEI Seed Fund Program supports innovative, early-stage research across the energy spectrum—from gas monetization to advanced materials to big data to related environmental areas. The program seeks to encourage researchers from across MIT to collaborate in exploring new energy-related ideas and to open up new avenues for research. Each year, the program attracts well-established energy experts as well as new faculty who need startup support and others who are applying their expertise in different fields to energy for the first time. To date the program has provided about $15.8 million for 129 early-stage research projects.
MITEI's education program develops cross-disciplinary learning opportunities and assists students with energy opportunities beyond the classroom, supporting students through a variety of programs:
The MITEI Education Office supports the Energy Education Task Force with energy curriculum development and establishing and communicating a model for interdisciplinary energy education at MIT.
MITEI is committed to a campus energy program that extends the impacts of energy research and education at MIT by developing and demonstrating sustainable energy practices on campus. MITEI supports efforts at MIT to lead and educate by example by increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, utilizing renewable energy, and reducing energy costs on campus. MIT’s campus energy goals are to reduce MIT’s energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions economically; enhance student energy education and learning by using campus operations as a living laboratory for discovery and innovation; and serve as a model of intelligent, effective action to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions—a model that can be used by others in the United States and worldwide.
For more information, visit the campus energy program website at http://mit.edu/mitei/campus/.
Outreach activities include reports based on multistakeholder symposia and subsequent research, and a program of interdisciplinary studies on the future of specific energy technologies, including nuclear power, coal, natural gas, solar energy, nuclear fuel cells, and the electric grid. In March 2012, the latest in the series of symposium reports, Managing Large-Scale Penetration of Intermittent Renewables, was released. The Future of... studies, aimed at informing leaders in government and industry, examine conditions that enable technology and policy choices in critical areas. The most recent of these studies addressed The Future of Natural Gas and The Future of the Electric Grid.
In addition, MITEI implemented the MITEI Associate Member Program Symposium Series to bring together groups of energy experts for formal discussion and analysis of timely and critical energy issues. Five day-long invitation-only events have been held since the program was established in 2010.
MITEI supports a monthly lecture series in addition to several colloquia and seminars each year. The lecture series is designed to share current research from MIT and elsewhere, and is attended by students, faculty, and staff involved in energy research as well as by the local community. Colloquia bring together much larger and diverse MIT constituencies and feature more general-interest energy discussions following talks by prominent policy makers.
The outreach group also publishes Energy Futures, a semi-annual magazine of energy research, education, and campus innovation at MIT.