Category: Low Carbons and Renewables Initiative

How a clean energy future is colliding with mining’s dark past 9/22/2022

How a clean energy future is colliding with mining’s dark past

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee contributes to this article about how no one wants a mine in their backyard. Clean energy will require a lot of metal.  As global demand for these “critical minerals,” a group that includes lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper, is projected to increase by 400-600 percent driven by a surge in manufacturing of renewable technologies.  September 22, 2022. 

The Inflation Reduction Act Is the Start of Reclaiming Critical Mineral Chains 9/16/2022

The Inflation Reduction Act Is the Start of Reclaiming Critical Mineral Chains

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian and Gregory Brew write about how green technologies depend on the supply of a few key resources.  But one important component of the the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has been largely overlooked. Built within the IRA is a commitment to increasing the domestic U.S. supply of critical minerals—lithium, nickel, manganese, and graphite, among others—to provide the materials necessary for a vast expansion in electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, and renewable power production infrastructure. September 16, 2022.

Without permits to build things, there will be no clean energy boom 9/15/2022

Without permits to build things, there will be no clean energy boom

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian and Communications Associate Simon Lomax write an opinion piece about how President Joe Biden’s landmark climate and clean energy bill.  American green groups have lauded the legislation, which was signed into law last month and provides $369bn in federal climate and clean energy incentives. But now comes the really hard part: turning hundreds of billions of dollars of incentives into real projects. September 15, 2022.  

Closing the Energy Poverty Gap in Africa Using Landfill Gas 9/8/2022

Closing the Energy Poverty Gap in Africa Using Landfill Gas

Payne Institute ESG Research Associate Baba Freeman writes about how energy poverty is widespread in African countries and power generation capacity has continued to lag population and economic growth. The prospects for adding generation capacity are currently diminished as global financial institutions reduce lending for carbon-based energy developments in response to the adverse effects of climate change. This paper looks at the economic feasibility assessments of African landfill power generation projects from literature and develops options for policymakers to boost landfill gas power penetration on the continent.  September 8, 2022.

Shifts in the Energy Workforce 9/6/2022

Shifts in the Energy Workforce

Payne Institute Critical Minerals Research Associate Caitlin McKennie, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler write about how the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act heralds an unprecedented era of climate investment for the U.S. Such investment brings with it the promise of new jobs across the clean energy landscape. For rural communities that have historically depended on fossil fuel development or use, however, included several in Colorado, the outlook is at least more complicated.   September 6, 2022.

Free energy efficiency assessments now available for Colorado, Wyoming businesses 8/30/2022

Free energy efficiency assessments now available for Colorado, Wyoming businesses

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Paulo Tabares-Velasco is the assistant director of the new Rocky Mountain Industrial Assessment Center (RMIAC).  The center assists small- and medium-sized manufacturers to reduce carbon emissions, lower energy costs by offering free energy system assessments for local manufacturers, with the goal of helping them improve their facilities’ energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions.  August 30, 2022. 

Woburn startup wants to steer the steel industry away from coal 8/29/2022

Woburn startup wants to steer the steel industry away from coal

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow John Speer contributes to this article about how Boston Metal has developed a way to manufacture iron using sustainable electricity.  The startup, Boston Metal, wants to help the steel industry reduce its dependence on burning coal-based fuel and use electricity instead — ideally sustainably produced electricity from sources such as hydropower or solar.  August 29, 2022.

More Than Just a ‘School of Mines,’ CSM Is a Major Player in Climate Research 8/25/2022

More Than Just a ‘School of Mines,’ CSM Is a Major Player in Climate Research

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this article about how the Colorado School of Mines, with its historic connection to fossil fuel and mineral extraction, would seem an unlikely place for a high-level pursuit of the transition from a world powered by fossil fuels to a world of clean energy.  However, Mines recognizes that saving our planet depends on transitioning from oil and gas to other forms of energy that reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.  August 25, 2022.

Pandemic, War, and Global Energy Transitions 8/23/2022

Pandemic, War, and Global Energy Transitions

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian co-authors this paper about how the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine have impacted the global economy, including the energy sector. The pandemic caused drastic fluctuations in energy demand, oil price shocks, disruptions in energy supply chains, and hampered energy investments, while the war left the world with energy price hikes and energy security challenges. The long-term impacts of these crises on low-carbon energy transitions and mitigation of climate change are still uncertain but are slowly emerging. This paper analyzes the impacts throughout the energy system, including upstream fuel supply, renewable energy investments, demand for energy services, and implications for energy equity, by reviewing recent studies and consulting experts in the field.  August 23, 2022.