Stephanie SonnabendApril 14, 2021
Sudeb Dalai (follow-up)February 26, 2021
Amrita Saigal and Arun SaigalJanuary 26, 2021
Sun YooNovember 25, 2020
Repurpose Diablo Canyon for Economical Water & Energy?Can California Repurpose Diablo Canyon
to provide both Giga-scale Drinking Water and Clean Energy?
California is in the midst of the second multiyear drought in 8 years, with drinking water conservation calls ranging from 10% to 32% across the state. California’s water supply depends on winter precipitation that is the most variable in the nation. Further, the State’s continuing investment in water supply, storage and conveyance comes at significant cost to the ecosystem, with frequent tradeoffs and delays to address environmental concerns.
Thus, there is great interest in wholly new water sources such as recycled water and desalination; however, these are typically expensive as well as capital & energy intensive. What if California could build a billion gallon per day desalination plant?
MIT faculty members John Lienhard, Jacopo Buongiorno, and John Parsons, working with the Stanford Precourt Energy Institute, have developed an innovative proposal to generate significant quantities of desalinated water as well as zero carbon electricity and green transportation fuel. By repurposing the existing Diablo Canyon Nuclear facility, they found that the nuclear plant plus a new giga-scale desalination plant could simultaneously help to stabilize the State’s electric grid with carbon-free electricity and provide desalinated water to supplement the State’s chronic water shortages at a scale potentially comparable to the largest reservoir projects.
The proposal consists of three parts:
- Build a large scale modular desalinated water facility, using existing RO technology, adjacent to Diablo Canyon that shares its large-scale water facilities and capitalizes on low-cost electricity from the nuclear plant,
- Continue to use Diablo Canyon to provide dispatchable carbon-free power to the grid to complement the State’s large renewable electric supply, while simultaneously addressing environmental concerns regarding seawater intake and heat discharge,
- Build a hydrogen fuel manufacturing facility adjacent to Diablo Canyon to generate green hydrogen fuel to further decarbonize the transportation industry in the State.
The professors will discuss the technical and economic feasibility of this design, how it can reduce carbon emissions vs. the current trajectory for how we balance renewable energy, and how it can provide new, economical drought-proof water to the State on a scale not considered possible heretofore.
MITea: Japanese Tea IAP Masterclass with Kettl“Kettl tea is the most flavorful and fragrant tea I have ever experienced. It has become a central part of my restaurants and my daily life.”
– James Beard Award Winning Chef David Bouley, New York
“There may be no more high-profile emerging tea brand in America right now than Kettl.”
Learn about Japan’s finest tea from Zach Mangan, owner of New York’s Kettl, a direct-source operation with offices in Fukuoka, Japan and Brooklyn, NY. Kettl is focused on the highest quality Japanese tea and offers an array of truly stunning gyokuro, sencha, matcha, and hōjicha teas imported from several of the country’s most notable producers, which are located in rural, isolated areas. Small volume and high demand make procuring these teas difficult.
Kettl's flagship cafe and gallery space is located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and features tea to go, a tasting counter, their full collection of ceramics, retail teas, Japanese incense and select home goods. Kettl Bowery in Manhattan serves tea and sweets at a four-seat counter and a take-away window. Retail teas are also available for purchase along with a limited selection of ceramics. Tea, tea pots and cups, incense and many other items are available from the Kettl web site.
Kettl also supplies tea to some of the country’s top restaurants and cafes including, Ichimura at Uchu, Jean-Georges, Momofuku Ko and Per Se in New York, along with The French Laundry in the Napa Valley. Kettl’s restaurant clients hold a combined 36 Michelin stars!
In this guided virtual tasting, participants will take a deep dive into the world of Japanese tea. We will cover the history of tea in Japan and explore how it influenced the development the arts, cuisine and politics of the nation. We will then look at the tea industry today and explore several areas of manufacture, styles of tea and taste how processing and place impact flavor. The tasting will be followed by a Q&A session, moderated by Patricia Liu of the Club of Northern California.
COP26 Explained: High Hopes, Hard Truths & Future PathwaysSince the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) came into force in 1994, parties to the UNFCCC have met annually in a Conference of Parties (COP) beginning with the Berlin Mandate (1995) to further negotiate a legal protocol, which resulted in the Kyoto Protocol at COP3 (1997). Fast forward to 2009, nations had high expectations when over 180 heads of governments and heads of states met at Copenhagen for COP15. High expectations resulted in failure to achieve a new legal instrument. Through much hard talk and tough negotiations through the intervening annual COPs, it was not until COP21 that nations again completed a new legal instrument – the Paris Agreement of 2015.
Each year since 2015, nations have been negotiating the implementation details of the Paris Agreement, including the role of each nation’s nationally determined contributions and whether such voluntary contributions are conditioned on climate finance and technology assistance from wealthier nations and the provisions of cooperative approaches between nations in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
In this fireside chat, we will be joined by two climate change experts and veteran observers of the climate policy landscape who will give us their perspectives of what has been accomplished at COP26 in Glasgow and what these global policy develop-ments mean towards advances in climate actions.
Negative Emissions: What Are They and Will They Be Enough?Recent climate modeling tells us that just eliminating fossil fuel emissions from the major sources will not be enough to meet our climate targets. We will have to actively clean up the atmosphere, both to make up for the emissions we can’t stop in time (fertilizer, airplanes, etc.) and to clean up the mess we are continuing to make. The scale is stunning – 10 billion tons a year by 2050. This amount is twice the weight of all the oil we extract in one year today. Can we develop an industry to remove carbon by 2050 that is twice the size of today’s oil industry? Roger will argue that we can.
Negative emissions technologies are being developed to address this need, and appear to be a major business opportunity. Major approaches include enhancing natural sinks like soil and forests; using biomass to accumulate carbon that is permanently stored; and building machines that remove CO2 by chemical means. In this talk, Roger will discuss the major ways we can remove CO2, and what we have learned about their costs and limitations.