The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Fraunhofer, a German research organization, have signed an agreement to establish a research center in Massachusetts focused on significantly reducing the cost of solar energy over the next five years. The MIT-Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems will develop cutting-edge technologies and materials for designing and producing better solar modules.
Located adjacent to the MIT campus, the center will be active in other areas of sustainable energy research as well, including developing new technologies to substantially reduce the energy consumption of new and retrofitted structures by adapting state-of-the-art building technology. The center also aims to develop a portfolio of new efficiency and solar technologies that maximize MIT's world-class capabilities in advanced materials R&D and computer simulation.
‘This partnership will pair the outstanding basic energy research capabilities at MIT with the world-class applied research capabilities of the Fraunhofer Institute,’ says Professor Ernest Moniz, director of the MIT Energy Initiative. ‘The research focusing on solar energy and on building efficiency address extremely important technologies for both long- and short-term response to global energy challenges. Also, the strong support of the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and National Grid represents the kind of public-private partnership that we will need to succeed.’
Start-up costs of the center will be funded with $5 million from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. National Grid, the principal member of the Center's Partnership with Industry, also committed to support the center with a pledge of $1 million over five years.