Category: Circular Economy

Biden’s conundrum: Expand EVs without harming the Earth 4/30/2021

Biden’s conundrum: Expand EVs without harming the Earth

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this article about President Biden’s plan to rapidly shift to electric vehicles and renewable energy could find itself in conflict with another, less prominent commitment: improving the sustainability of the mineral and metals sector.  April 30, 2021.

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2021 edition 4/20/2021

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2021 edition

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributes to the World Economic Forum‘s Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2021 report on how as countries continue their progress in transitioning to clean energy, it is critical to root the transition in economic, political and social practices to ensure progress is irreversible. The Energy Transition Index, which benchmarks 115 countries on the performance of their energy systems, finds that while 92 of the countries increased their score over the past 10 years, only 10% of countries were able to make consistent gains, showing the need for renewed focus and resilience to meet the climate goals of the next decade. April 20, 2021.

Optimality versus reality: Closing the gap between renewable energy decision models and government deployment in the United States 4/12/2021

Optimality versus reality: Closing the gap between renewable energy decision models and government deployment in the United States

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Kate Anderson, Maggie Nevrly, Emma Elgqvist, and Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian write about the energy decision models that are widely used to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of renewable energy, as well as to help inform the deployment of these technologies. However, a gap exists between the optimal model solutions and what is deployed. April 12, 2021.

Mobilizing Investment for Clean Energy in Emerging Economies 4/1/2021

Mobilizing Investment for Clean Energy in Emerging Economies

The Payne Institute is proud to be a partner organization with the World Economic Forum on their new initiative Mobilizing Investment for Clean Energy in Emerging Economies. Accelerating clean energy transitions is a global imperative for the world to address the climate emergency. The decarbonization of energy production and use will require trillions of dollars to be invested in the deployment of new clean energy capacity and energy efficiency, as well as to retire existing carbon-intensive energy infrastructure that would otherwise lock-in emissions for decades. April 1, 2021.

Governments have identified commodities essential to economic and military security 3/31/2021

Governments have identified commodities essential to economic and military security

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Rod Eggert and Director Morgan Bazilian contribute to this article about obtaining critical minerals necessary to break the U.S. dependence on foreign production. The U.S. Defense department will help facilitate the building of facilities to process rare earths, part of an effort to secure supply independent from China.  March 31, 2021.

The material foundations of a low-carbon economy 3/19/2021

The material foundations of a low-carbon economy

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee, Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the transition to a low-carbon environment is rapidly accelerating and with it the potential for severe environmental and social degradation. The extraction and processing of key materials have already begun to affect developing economies, and policy changes are essential to ensuring a just transition.  March 19, 2021.

VALUING ALBERTA’S RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY PROGRAM 3/18/2021

VALUING ALBERTA’S RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY PROGRAM

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Dr. Sara Hastings-Simon and Blake Shaffer write about how When Alberta’s government launched the Renewable Electricity Program (REP) in 2017, many feared it would result in yet another costly subsidy for renewable power. With a little over a year since first generation, we look back on how the REP contracts have fared so far. It may come as a surprise then that the government is actually making money on them.  March 18, 2021.  

Rising oil prices a litmus test for Alberta’s commitment to addressing inactive wells 3/17/2021

Rising oil prices a litmus test for Alberta’s commitment to addressing inactive wells

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Dr. Sara Hastings-Simon writes an opinion piece on how recently, the Alberta Energy Regulator suspended Sanling Energy’s licences, announcing that the company has $67 million in unpaid security for end-of-life obligations (i.e. abandonment and reclamation of wells). This is but the latest in a long series of bad news regarding the oil and gas sector’s outstanding environmental liabilities in Alberta, which includes a staggering 97,000 inactive wells (wells that are neither producing nor properly abandoned and reclaimed) — up from approximately 84,000 in 2018.  March 17, 2021.

Integrating Technology and Incentives to Reduce Methane Emissions 3/16/2021

Integrating Technology and Incentives to Reduce Methane Emissions

Payne Institute Fellow Ben Gilbert and Mark Agerton discuss economic considerations with using remote sensing in methane emissions policy. A two-tiered monitoring system like the recently proposed Methane Emissions Reduction Act is a powerful tool to achieve emissions reductions. However, there are important considerations in how to design such a system. A two-tiered system could facilitate emissions pricing and responsible gas markets, reward innovative producers, and fund programs for further climate change mitigation while easing the impact of the energy transition on oil and gas communities.   March 16, 2021.