Energy plays a fundamental role in the progress of global civilization. The composition of the global energy mix has evolved over time based on technological and cultural advances and to suit economic activities and energy demand. The industrial revolution led to a shift from conventional biomass (firewood) to fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, gas), followed by nuclear and hydropower sources. Technological and manufacturing advances have brought efficient, clean, and renewable energy sources (wind, solar, geothermal, etc.) into the electricity generation portfolio as well. With a broader array of low carbon emission options, when and how to switch from fossil to renewable energy sources is at the forefront of business and policy concerns.
The 2015 COP21 agreement set a target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This will require GHG emission reductions from the projected 55 gigatons above pre-industrial levels to 40 gigatons by 2030. While the industrial, transportation and residential sectors account for significant shares of energy related emissions, the electricity sector remains the single largest emitter of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, largely due to its overall reliance on coal and other fossil fuels.It's upon this that MIT invites proposals in energy domain.
This contest focuses on the electricity generation sector because:
- Electricity usage will continue to increase in the developing as well as the developed world in the coming years.
- In the developing world, providing greater access to electricity is crucial to alleviating poverty and addressing related health, water, food, education, and political challenges.
- Electrifying the transportation sector places the burden of decarbonizing further onto the electricity sector and reductions in GHG emissions from electricity generation will thus have a positive ripple effect.
Top proposals in each contest will be awarded.
Judges’ Choice Winner – Strongest overall
Popular Choice Winner – Received the most votes during the voting period
Impact Award – Largest impact and highly feasible
Novelty Award – Most innovative
The Judges’ and Popular Choice Winners will be invited to MIT to present their proposal, enter the Climate CoLab Winners Program and be eligible for the $10,000 Grand Prize. All award winners will receive wide recognition and visibility by the MIT Climate CoLab.
If your proposal is included in a top global climate action plan, you will receive CoLab Points, which are redeemable for cash prizes.
More information at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Climate Co-Lab 2016 proposals!