Carbon Capture Utilization & Sequestration (CCUS)

Multidisciplinary approach to scientific and engineering research on CCUS technological innovations, coupled with crosscutting work on policy, markets, and regulation

Multidisciplinary approach to scientific and engineering research on CCUS technological innovations, coupled with crosscutting work on policy, markets, and regulation

Carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) is an emissions technology that can be applied across the energy system. The Colorado School of Mines has directly relevant science and technology expertise that spans from fundamental chemistry through reactor engineering. There are on the order of 30-50 faculty actively engaged with areas related to one or more aspects of the CCUS chain.

Most, if not all, CO2 reduction to fuels or chemicals depends on catalytic hydrogenation or dehydrogenation processes. Thus, the design, synthesis, and implementation of selective catalysts are essential aspects of CO2 utilization for the production of value-added chemicals. As a practical matter, cost-effective and timely technology development depends on closely coordinated multidisciplinary research and engineering.

Through collaboration and research Colorado School of Mines and the Payne Institute are connecting the technical expertise on campus related to CCUS with industry, government and civil society to increase awareness of the opportunities related to CCUS. Maintaining the focus of the University as a leader at the frontiers of science and engineering, related to earth, energy and environmental stewardship.

NEWS

11 WAYS TO MEASURE CLEAN GROWTH

11 WAYS TO MEASURE CLEAN GROWTH

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon contributes to this report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices that highlights the multiple facets of clean growth by unpacking the connections between economic growth, climate change, and human well-being. We identify 11 data-driven indicators that, together, can guide efforts by governments, businesses, and communities to not only tackle climate change but to do so in a way that achieves sustained growth and the best overall outcomes for people and society as a whole.  September 22, 2020.  

Colorado School of Mines launches Integrated Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Initiative 9/18/2020

Colorado School of Mines launches Integrated Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Initiative

Led by the Payne Institute for Public Policy and the Mines’ Office of Global Initiatives, the Integrated CCUS initiative will be interdisciplinary across Mines departments.  Global interest in carbon capture, utilization and storage is unprecedented as one of the key strategies for addressing climate change. The need for detailed scientific and engineering research, coupled with cross-cutting work on policy, markets and regulation of the technology is equally critical.  September 18, 2020.

BP Releases Energy Outlook 9/14/2020

BP Releases Energy Outlook

Payne Institute Fellow Michael Cohen, Chief U.S. Economist and Head of Oil Analysis at BP, produced the Energy Outlook that explores the forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2050 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition. The global energy system is likely to undergo a fundamental restructuring in order to decarbonize, which will create challenges and opportunities for the industry. Three main scenarios – Rapid, Net Zero, and Business-as-usual – provide a range of possible outcomes to understand the range of uncertainties ahead.  September 14, 2020. 

Why Canada’s geothermal industry is finally gaining ground 9/12/2020

Why Canada’s geothermal industry is finally gaining ground

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon contributes to this article about how the heat from below the Earth’s surface has provided a reliable source of electricity for decades in many countries — but not Canada. Now, several projects underway in western provinces could herald a new era for this untapped resource and offer job opportunities for former oil and gas workers.  September 12, 2020.  

Beware of climate delay, masquerading as climate action 9/10/2020

Beware of climate delay, masquerading as climate action

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon writes an opinion piece about the slow-walking action on climate has almost the same impact as outright denial.  As political leaders face growing calls for climate action, we must be careful to understand where investments in technological development are, in fact, a form of climate delay, masquerading as action.  September 10, 2020.

Country Spotlight: Gas Flaring in India 9/3/2020

Country Spotlight: Gas Flaring in India

The Payne Institute looks at the gas flaring in India.  According to the IEA, India is the fourth largest refiner of oil (behind the US, Russia, and China), and the third largest importer of crude oil and LNG (behind China and the US), though is outranked by 24 other countries on oil production, with declining trends.  September 3, 2020. 

Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID World Sustainable Energy 8/31/2020

Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID World Sustainable Energy

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian was a co-author on the Second Consultative Science Platform of the IIASA-ISC “Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID-19 World” that aims to harness the transformative power of crisis to imagine a more sustainable world. The authors gathered with a focus on science -to deliberate on the following overarching questions: How should COVID-19 and related stimulus and/or recovery packages be directed to build back better to create the maximum impact on the  transition to sustainable development; and how can a decarbonized, decentralized, and digitalized energy system make our society more resilient? How can the ability of science, policy and governance systems be enhanced to rapidly respond to unforeseen shocks? August 31, 2020.

The oil-sands fundamentals are dire and stark – and Canada shouldn’t spend to revive a dying dream 8/29/2020

The oil-sands fundamentals are dire and stark – and Canada shouldn’t spend to revive a dying dream

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon, David Keith, and Ed Whittingham write an opinion piece on Alberta’s potential move to build a greener industry with a major public investment in decarbonizing oil production. There is widespread support for this approach. After all, many of Alberta’s oil producers are in the high-cost, high-carbon quadrant, and for them to follow the world in moving to low-carbon energy, the public needs to help with the Herculean adjustment effort. August 29, 2020. 

Can Distributed Nuclear Power Address Energy Resilience and Energy Poverty? 8/19/2020

Can Distributed Nuclear Power Address Energy Resilience and Energy Poverty?

Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert and Morgan Bazilian write about the three major energy challenges that are driving national and international energy decision making. First, the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Second, despite recent progress, many communities in both developed and developing countries remain in energy poverty or lack reliable, low-cost energy services. Finally, due to climate-amplified natural disasters and other threats, the reliability and resilience of energy systems is an increasing public concern. Existing distributed energy resources (DERs), especially solar photovoltaics and battery storage, are attempting to address each of these issues. However, more and faster progress is needed. Recent innovations in advanced nuclear designs could make nuclear power a distributed energy solution for the first time. As a dispatchable and resilient energy source, distributed nuclear could complement and accelerate the ongoing distributed energy revolution.  August 19, 2020.

Market failures and willingness-to-accept the smart energy transition: Experimental evidence from the UK 8/13/2020

MARKET FAILURES AND WILLINGNESS-TO-ACCEPT THE SMART ENERGY TRANSITION: EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE FROM THE UK

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell and Daire McCoy have a new working paper that discusses why there is a need to facilitate the sustainable energy transition, and how governments and innovators are encouraging households to adopt smart technologies that allow for increased flexibility in energy grids. The UK’s ambitious smart metering policy has indisputably failed to achieve its objective of equipping all dwellings with smart meters. This research uses a novel experiment to elicit the willingness-to-accept of 2,400 nationally representative UK households for smart meter installation.  August 13, 2020.  

Fall in US gas flaring gives cause for optimism 8/11/2020

FALL IN US GAS FLARING GIVES CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Jordy Lee, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Jamie Webster write about how in the past 12 months, gas flaring in the US has actually declined by 70 per cent, according to numbers provided by the Earth Observation Group.This decline was not driven by policy, Covid-19, or suddenly improved operations, but rather as the result of investors demanding greater capital discipline from a sector that had earned a reputation for prioritising growth over all other concerns. These demands have reduced activity, particularly from smaller operators that have often found it financially difficult to spend capital to improve environmental outcomes. August 11, 2020.

On oilsands, Alberta is still trying to fix yesterday’s problems 8/5/2020

ON OILSANDS, ALBERTA IS STILL TRYING TO FIX YESTERDAY’S PROBLEMS

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon opinion piece regarding the decision by French energy giant Total highlights need to focus on today’s real challenges, and their reasons for the recently announced writedown of Canadian oilsands assets and the decision to halt all future investments in new capacity.  While the decision was framed within Total’s broader carbon neutrality goal, the fundamental challenge cited was not the carbon footprint of production from the oilsands, but rather that in a world that is responding to the threat of climate change, oil production will decline, leaving the expansion of higher cost, larger, and longer lifetime Alberta resources uncompetitive. August 5, 2020. 

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For more information about the Carbon Capture Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) Initiative at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, please contact our Strategy and Operations Manager, Gregory Clough, at gclough@mines.edu.