Category: Circular Economy

Colorado’s leadership on methane emissions survives another challenge

Colorado’s leadership on methane emissions survives another challenge

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Deputy Director Greg Clough, and Policy and Outreach Advisor Simon Lomax write this opinion piece about how Colorado is both a national and global leader on many areas of energy and climate policy, and especially when it comes to the regulation of emissions from oil and natural gas production. A decade ago, Colorado became the first state to directly regulate methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities.  The lessons learned have influenced not only the US EPA, but other efforts globally.  May 16, 2024.

NAVIGATING COMMERCIAL ADVISORY IN THE VCM 5/16/2024

NAVIGATING COMMERCIAL ADVISORY IN THE VCM

School of Mines Mineral and Energy Economics Masters candidate Jared Andreatta and Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler write an explainer of the various types of Commercial Advisory services firms that participate in the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM). These advisory firms primarily help buyers find, evaluate and transact carbon offset credits, but offer distinct approaches. May 16, 2024.

Mitigating Performance Degrading Defects in Gallium-doped Czochralski Silicon Solar Cells with Data-Informed Modeling

Mitigating Performance Degrading Defects in Gallium-doped Czochralski Silicon Solar Cells with Data-Informed Modeling

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Sumit Agarwal received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) for a project that studies light- and temperature-induced degradation observed in p-type silicon passivated emitter rear contact (p-PERC) solar modules. The team is using gallium-doped Czochralski silicon wafers to understand the high efficiency and reliability of p-PERC crystalline silicon (c-Si) modules by mitigating 30 years of degradation in the field due to light and thermal effects.  May 16, 2024.

US Lawmakers Left the LNG Pause in Place, So What Next? 5/15/2024

US Lawmakers Left the LNG Pause in Place, So What Next?

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Policy and Outreach Advisor, Responsible Gas Simon Lomax, and Deputy Director Greg Clough write about how US lawmakers did not force President Joe Biden to lift his pause on LNG export approvals in exchange for the recent approval of a $95 billion security aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. This likely means the US Department of Energy (DOE) can complete a review of the economic and climate impacts of LNG exports, which was the stated purpose of the pause.  May 15, 2024.

LEEDING POWER BACK TO COMMUNITIES THROUGH GREEN BUILDING CODES 5/10/2024

LEEDING POWER BACK TO COMMUNITIES THROUGH GREEN BUILDING CODES – ADVICE FOR POLICYMAKERS CONSIDERING LEED CERTIFICATION

Payne Institute Student Researcher Nathan Li compares goals of original, local green building codes and their potential for projects to use LEED certification as a path of compliance. By using his professional experience in LEED certification to analyze these codes’ language and priorities, he provide guidance on the applicability of LEED to achieve energy efficiency and renewable energy goals set by jurisdictions.  Nathan then makes suggestions to policymakers not to rely on the widespread acceptance of LEED to communicate a sustainability commitment, but instead use locally specific codes that require needed changes in their communities.  May 10, 2024.

Methane emissions from gas flaring being hidden from satellite monitors 5/2/2024

Methane emissions from gas flaring being hidden from satellite monitors

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group utilizes the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) that continues to be the the standard product that scientists use globally to monitor gas flaring. It’s the best, most consistent product they currently have to assess flares by fossil fuel companies.  The World Bank, alongside the EU and other regulators, has been using satellites for years to find and document gas flares, asking energy companies to find ways of capturing the gas instead of burning or venting it.  May 2, 2024.

Is Green Growth Possible? 4/30/2024

Is Green Growth Possible? 

Environmental data scientist Hannah Ritchie is featured on the Ezra Klein Show, a New York Times podcast, discussing how climate technology is increasingly catching up to the world’s enormous need for clean energy and with a few changes, a more sustainable future.  The Payne Institute is mentioned as a key research organization looking at the amount of resources available to support a clean energy transition using solid data science.  April 29, 2024.  

Big snow years in western U.S. are being impacted by climate change – but less so than the average snow year 4/29/2024

Big snow years in western U.S. are being impacted by climate change – but less so than the average snow year

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Adrienne Marshall is lead author on new study published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The study answers the question – what does a warming climate mean for big snow years like the one California experienced in 2023?  The research uses snow surveys, automated snow telemetry observations and modeled snowpack data from California’s Sierra Nevada.  April 29, 2024.

Revitalizing the future economy: Critical mineral derivatives could bring stability 4/29/2024

Revitalizing the future economy: Critical mineral derivatives could bring stability

Payne Institute Student Researcher Reese Epper, Sustainable Finance Laboratory Program Manager Brad Handler, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how despite very likely high demand growth for some minerals, recent price drops give poor signals to investors.  Slower-than-expected growth in the electric vehicle sector, especially in China, combined with supply increases, has weighed heavily on the prices of several critical minerals. Given the long lead times to develop new supply sources, investments in mining these minerals must begin now. Yet, in the face of low prices, the mining industry is delaying projects, scaling back work and suspending operations.  April 29, 2024.  

Study says California’s 2023 snowy rescue from megadrought was a freak event. Don’t get used to it 4/29/2024

Study says California’s 2023 snowy rescue from megadrought was a freak event. Don’t get used to it

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Adrienne Marshall contributes to this article about how last year’s snow deluge in California, which quickly erased a two decade long megadrought, was essentially a once-in-a-lifetime rescue from above. Don’t get used to it because with climate change the 2023 California snow bonanza —a record for snow on the ground on April 1 — will be less likely in the future.  April 29, 2024.