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Integration of energy systems



This article in MRS Bulletin and the framework set out in the introductory article articulate a scenario of renewable electrons and electrification of end use appliances and industrial processes as a plausible paradigm to realize a carbon-free energy economy. The subsequent articles cover specific sectoral or chemical applications of those renewable electrons (e.g., for hydrogen, transportation, building use, electrochemical storage, and within the chemical industry). This article addresses the intersections among and across those sectors. We describe the importance of considering integrated systems and systems of systems as we consider pathways to a decarbonized energy economy. Further, we review and summarize key insights into the innovation challenges that reside at the particular integration interfaces among sectors, and highlight the opportunity for advances in materials and processes that will be critical to successful achievement of economy-wide, low-carbon energy systems.

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