he Science and Engineering of a Socially Just Energy Transition Toward Energy Independence of Palestine

By: Franz-Josef Ulm, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Cambridge MA

  • Date and Time: Monday July 17th, 2023, from 13:15 - 14:30 PM.
  • Venue: The Faculty of Science's, 2nd Floor, Meetings Room, 


The challenges faced by scientists and engineers today have never been greater: climate change and the overdue energy transition from fossil fuels to clean energy pushes us worldwide to re-think how we collect and store energy and make it available – in a socially just way –  to everyone. This challenge is amplified in Palestine, where the corrosive effects of the Occupation that have penetrated all venues of life have exacerbated inequalities in the access to energy. While photovoltaic and other clean energy sources have become available, the large-scale implementation of such renewable energy systems necessitates the development of energy storage solutions to effectively manage imbalances between energy demand and supply in a socially just way. Herein, we present such a scalable science-enabled engineering solution for energy storage using readily available material precursors that can be locally sourced from virtually anywhere on the planet, incl. Palestine, namely cement, water and carbon black. Produced in (almost) the same way as classical concrete, the availability, versatility and scalability of such carbon-cement super capacitors opens a new horizon for the design of multifunctional structures that leverage high energy storage capacity, high-rate charge/discharge capability, and structural strength for sustainable residential and industrial applications, incl. energy autarkic houses, self-charging roads for electric vehicles, and intermittent energy storage. We will show how this technology can and should work for everyone, provided that Palestine university research and industry partnership enable such developments for the energy transition and energy independence of Palestine – stone-by-stone, road-by-road, house-by-house, town-by-town, in a socially just manner.