Collaborating to cut emissions in the property sector

To enhance the sustainability of homes and property projects in Thailand, Bangkok-based property developer Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited (MQDC) has joined the MIT Energy Initiative, with a three-year membership agreement in MITEI’s Low-Carbon Energy Center for Electric Power Systems Research.

MQDC is joining MITEI to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from property projects in Thailand, through both optimizing its own developments and providing consultancy to other firms in the sector. MQDC’s Research and Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC) will work with MITEI in the collaboration. RISC focuses on in-house and sponsored research to drive innovation in energy and water efficiency for home environments, and also works to make construction techniques and materials more sustainable.

The electric power systems center is one of eight Low-Carbon Energy Centers that MITEI has established as part of the Institute’s Plan for Action on Climate Change, which calls for engagement with industry to solve the pressing challenges of decarbonizing the energy sector with multiple advanced technologies, including energy storage, solar, and bioscience. The centers build on MITEI’s existing work with industry members, government, and foundations.

“RISC is delighted to be supporting the work of the MIT Energy Initiative, whose objectives we closely share,” says Singh Intrachooto, the chief advisor of RISC. “We are confident this collaboration through MITEI’s Low-Carbon Energy Center for Electric Power Systems Research will bring benefits for the sustainability of property development in Thailand and enable the country to play a greater role in global efforts to combat climate change.”

Wendy Duan, manager of MITEI’s Asia Pacific Energy Partnership Program, says MIT is looking forward to working with MQDC and RISC on research that will help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions in current and future real estate projects.

“This is an important sector to decarbonize, and this collaboration will support MQDC’s commitment to advancing low-carbon technologies and strategies,” Duan says.

MITEI’s electric power systems center works to accelerate an efficient transition toward a decarbonized power sector by leveraging and integrating MIT’s cross-disciplinary expertise. Through quantitative analysis, the center studies the impacts and system level implications of emerging technologies, evolving business models, and regulatory and policy dynamics that are shaping the future of the sector — building on the groundwork laid by MITEI’s 2016 “Utility of the Future” study to help guide the evolution of the electric grid.

One of the core thematic areas that the center examines is the role of the built environment in the power system of the future, including identifying effective and efficient means by which the built environment can contribute to decarbonization and improved sustainability of the power system, such as clean distributed energy generation and smart efficient consumption.

The center is led by co-directors Francis O’Sullivan, MITEI’s director of research, and Christopher Knittel, the George P. Shultz Professor of Applied Economics.