Programs & Outreach

Materials Needs for Energy Sustainability by 2050

Moderated Panel Discussions

These panel events, co-organized by the MRS Energy & Sustainability journal and the MRS Focus on Sustainability Subcommittee, convened top experts to discuss scientific, technological and sociological complexities relating to energy, the environment and sustainability. 



Materials Needs for Energy Sustainability by 2050—100% Replacement of Fossil Fuels by Sustainable Alternatives

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 | Phoenix, Arizona


Discussion Highlights

  • Will economic incentives alone drive deployment of solar and wind electricity, or are policy incentives required? What policies and level of investment are needed to bring exploration of laboratory concepts for fossil fuel replacement to technological demonstration?
  • What materials development is still necessary to better enable renewable technologies?
  • Given the timescale for 100% replacement of fossil fuels, what education and training of next generation scientists and engineers is needed?

    View/download the accompanying PowerPoint slides
    Learn more about the moderator and panelists

Materials Needs for Energy Sustainability by 2050—The Role of the Circular Materials Economy

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | Boston, Massachusetts


Discussion Highlights

  • How can we meet the growing demand for materials in a sustainable way, with fewer raw materials, less energy and reduced environmental impact, all while maintaining economic growth?
  • Can a circular economy be implemented in a practical, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way?
  • What opportunities does a shift to circular materials loops bring to materials research?

    View/download the accompanying PowerPoint slides
    Learn more about the moderator and panelists

Materials Needs for Energy Sustainability by 2050

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 | Phoenix, Arizona

Discussion Highlights

  • Methods to achieve an energy-efficient, low-emissions future, focused on the goals identified in the COP 21 Paris Agreement
  • Fundamental materials R&D necessary to achieve such goals
  • Geopolitical and international supply-chain implications of the necessary R&D pathway