Category: Payne News

Water Security Issues for Lithium Mining in Chile 5/17/2022

Water Security Issues for Lithium Mining in Chile

Payne Institute Communications Associate Eleanor Igwe writes about how due to lithium’s central role in electric vehicle batteries, its demand is predicted to continue a steep rise and likely reach the level of two to four million metric tons by 2030. In addition to the stresses this will put on mining production and the environment – issues of water security are likely to become a key challenge.  May 17, 2022.  

A solar-energy trade dispute erupts at exactly the wrong time 5/17/2022

A solar-energy trade dispute erupts at exactly the wrong time

Payne Institute Communications Associate Simon Lomax and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how a complaint by a California company is tanking production just when we need it most — and could delay Xcel’s exit from coal.  Colorado’s coal phase out hasn’t happened yet – and it won’t happen without the continued construction of new power sources to take the place of old power sources when they are due to shut down. Actions that slow down or stop these construction projects, however well intentioned, only increase the risk of failure.  May 17, 2022.  

The electricity scene from above: Exploring power grid inconsistencies using satellite data in Accra, Ghana 5/17/2022

The electricity scene from above: Exploring power grid inconsistencies using satellite data in Accra, Ghana

Zeal Shah, Noah Klugman, Gabriel Cadamuro, Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Feng-Chi Hsu, Payne Institute Earth Observation Group  Director and Senior Research Associate Christopher D. Elvidge, and Jay Taneja write about how complicated systems are complicated to monitor. The electric grid is one of the most complicated systems, and subsequently goes under-monitored in many regions around the world that cannot easily afford expensive meters. Past work has shown that images taken by satellites during the night, capturing nighttime illumination (“nightlights”), could provide a proxy measurement of grid performance for minimal cost.  May 17, 2022.

U.S. coal isn’t counting on Europe for a comeback 5/17/2022

U.S. coal isn’t counting on Europe for a comeback

Payne Institute Fellow Ian Lange contributes to the podcast about how the price of coal has surged since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions the European Union has placed on Russian coal in response.  Those sanctions announced last month are set to take full effect in August, creating — one would think — an opportunity for coal producers here in the United States. But they’re having trouble cashing in.  May 17, 2022.

First-of-its kind project in Colorado will bury 350,000 tons of planet-warming carbon that would have been released into the air 5/12/2022

First-of-its kind project in Colorado will bury 350,000 tons of planet-warming carbon that would have been released into the air

Payne Institute Program Manager Anna Littlefield contributed to this article about how the Colorado company Carbon America announced what it says will be the state’s first commercial-scale projects to capture and store carbon dioxide — the harmful and long-lasting greenhouse gas — before it’s released into the air.  Carbon America will build and operate a new system that siphons off carbon dioxide produced at the Sterling and Yuma ethanol plants in northeastern Colorado. The gas will then be pumped through pipelines and stored in a saline aquifer almost a mile underground.  May 13, 2022.

 

The Biden Administration Has Taken Some Bold Steps on Energy, But More Remains to be Done 5/12/2022

The Biden Administration Has Taken Some Bold Steps on Energy, But More Remains to be Done

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian and Duncan Wood write about how President Biden’s recent invocation of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to include five critical minerals is an important symbolic step toward moving to a low-carbon energy and transport system. The minerals mentioned in Biden’s announcement are those that are especially fundamental to modern batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage for power systems that are increasingly reliant on wind and solar power.  May 12, 2022.

Satellite Data Offers a Broad Array of Policy Insights 5/12/2022

Satellite Data Offers a Broad Array of Policy Insights

Payne Institute Communications Associate Chris Dunn and Director Morgan Bazilian summarize how satellite data is rapidly growing in importance for informing crucial policy decisions. Insights offered fall into one of three main categories: energy security and assessment, emissions and environment, and human and national security. May 12, 2022.

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2022 5/11/2022

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2022

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this World Economic Forum report on how the global energy transition builds on the trends from the Energy Transition Index to provide perspective on the current challenges and recommendations on how to navigate the transition through a turbulent macroeconomic and geopolitical environment. A series of compounded shocks pose short-term risks to energy affordability, sustainability, and energy security. However, the window to prevent the worst consequences of climate change is closing fast.  May 11, 2022.