Category: Europe

Mt. Etna Erupts 4 Times in Four Days 2/26/2021

Mt. Etna Erupts 4 Times in Four Days

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student worker Elijah Mt. Castle writes about how Mt. Etna, in the Sicilian province of Catania, has been intermediately erupting for four days now. The eruptions began on February 16th 2021. At this time the volcano is no danger to any of the surrounding villages and the lava is flowing into the uninhabited valley below the summit.  February 26, 2021.

Enormous wind turbines may be coming to a coast near you 1/14/2021

Enormous wind turbines may be coming to a coast near you

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon contributes to this article about the Haliade-X wind turbines — nearly the size of the Eiffel Tower — that are a game changer for the global offshore wind industry. A single turbine can power about 16,000 homes at competitive rates.  January 14, 2021.  

Forget a Fracking Ban 1/4/2021

Forget a Fracking Ban

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Jordy M. Lee and Director Morgan D. Bazilian write an argument that the key to greening the energy industry is getting better at pinpointing which natural gas firms and states are acting responsibly—and which aren’t.  January 4, 2021.  

THE ROAD TO NET-ZERO FINANCE 12/9/2020

The road to Net-Zero Finance

Payne Institute Fellow Ben Caldecott was part of the Advisory Group on Finance for the UK’s Climate Change Committee that prepared this report The Road to Net-Zero that critically assesses the UK financial system’s ability to deliver a Net Zero target. The report comprises independent advice of a panel of experts from world-leading financial institutions to the Climate Change Committee to accompany its Sixth Carbon Budget.  December 9, 2020.  

Shadow Warfare: Cyberwar Policy in the United States, Russia and China

Shadow Warfare: Cyberwar Policy in the United States, Russia and China

The Payne Institute would like to congratulate Faculty Fellow Elizabeth Van Wie Davis on her new book Shadow Warfare: Cyberwar Policy in the United States, Russia and China.  Cyberwarfare, like the seismic shift of policy with nuclear warfare, is modifying warfare into non-war warfare. A few distinctive characteristics of cyberwar emerge. Cyberwarfare has blurred the distinction between adversary and ally. Cyber probes continuously occur between allies and enemies alike, causing cyberespionage to merge with warfare.  Order book here.  November 20, 2020.  

 

Indicators of Electric Power Instability from Satellite Observed Nighttime Lights 9/30/2020

Indicators of Electric Power Instability from Satellite Observed Nighttime Lights

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group writes about how electric power services are fundamental to prosperity and economic development. Disruptions in the electricity power service can range from minutes to days. Such events are common in many developing economies, where the power generation and delivery infrastructure is often insufficient to meet demand and operational challenges. Yet, despite the large impacts, poor data availability has meant that relatively little is known about the spatial and temporal patterns of electric power reliability. Here, we explore the expressions of electric power instability recorded in temporal profiles of satellite observed surface lighting collected by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) low light imaging day/night band (DNB). September 30, 2020.  

Measuring “Reasonably Reliable” access to electricity services 8/19/2020

Measuring “Reasonably Reliable” access to electricity services

Payne Fellow Todd Moss, Morgan Bazilian, John Ayaburi, and Jacob Kincer write that while the electricity access rate is regularly measured in most countries, there are no routinely tracked metrics that measure reliability. This paper presents a new approach that: (1) aggregates all available country data on reliability; (2) defines a minimum threshold metric for ‘reasonable reliability’; and (3) estimates the number of people without ‘reasonably reliable’ electricity services. We estimate the number of people without access to reliable electricity is approximately 3.5 billion. This new metric provides a more granular view of the enormous energy access gap globally, and insights for future investment and policy decisions.  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.  

Global Gas Flaring Jumps to Levels Last Seen in 2009

GLOBAL GAS FLARING JUMPS TO LEVELS LAST SEEN IN 2009

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group’s research on gas flaring is providing the data for the annual World Bank Global Gas Flaring Report.  Estimates from satellite data show global gas flaring increased, by 3%, to levels not seen in more than a decade, to 150 billion cubic meters (bcm), equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Sub-Saharan Africa.  July 21, 2020.