My reporting as MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for energy has taken me, among other places, to the oil-rich deserts of the Middle East and to China, where mountains are being carved away to build the looming cities.
Growing up, I lived for a time in the Philippines, where I knew people who lit their tiny homes with single lantern batteries or struggled to breathe through the dense diesel fumes of Manila, so I have a feel for the pressing need around the world for both cheap energy and clean energy.
Jonathan Mapel, cofounder of Covalent Solar, based in Cambridge, MA, uses commonly available plastic sheets to illustrate how a new solar concentrator works. He then shows a prototype of the new solar concentrator, which features advanced dyes that make it highly efficient.
The panel presented highlights of technologies and approaches to energy-efficient building, featuring John Sterman, Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management and engineering systems director, System Dynamics Group; Nicholas Gayeski, doctoral candidate in Building Technology Program; Walt Henry, Department of Facilities; and Harvey Michaels, Department of Urban Studies and Planning and MITEI. This discussion took place on January 14, 2009, as part of Energy Futures Week.