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Overview: trends & motivation

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Electrical energy presently accounts for nearly 50% of total US energy use. It is expected that electrical energy will strengthen its already dominant role in the US economy as electrical technologies penetrate traditionally fuel-based applications such as transportation.

The significance of electrical energy in the economy highlights the importance of energy research within EECS at MIT. In programs spread over the entire department, we address the generation, storage and efficient use of energy, especially electrical energy.

Fig. 1. US energy consumption graph

Fig. 1. Energy consumption in the United States according to the United States Energy Information Agency. With the adoption of plug in hybrids, which require electrical power rather than gasoline, electricity generation may pass 50% of total US energy needs. Data from the Energy Information Agency, "Annual Energy Review 2006," Report No. DOE/EIA-0384(2006). http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/contents.html and "Annual Energy Outlook 2007," Report No. DOE/EIA-0383(2007). http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html.

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