Category: Research

Gas Flaring Declined in 2020, Study Finds 5/10/2021

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group provided the satellite data research analysis for the recently released World Bank Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report in April 2021.  According to the GGFR, gas flaring worldwide decreased by 5 percent in the pandemic year, mostly because of lower demand for oil. May 10, 2021.

Of actors, cities and energy systems: advancing the transformative potential of urban electrification 5/6/2021

Of actors, cities and energy systems advancing the transformative potential of urban electrification

Patricia Romero-Lankao, Alana Wilson, Joshua Sperling, Clark Miller, Daniel Zimny-Schmitt, Benjamin Sovacool, Chris Gearhart, Matteo Muratori, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, and Daniel Zünd write about how the electrification of transportation and the integration of electric vehicles (EVs) with buildings connected to clean grids has been touted as one of the key solutions to the global decarbonization challenge. Cities are on the frontlines of current and future electrification, as they depend on and drive electricity generation, distribution, and use.  May 6, 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.

Frozen Out in Texas: Blackouts and Inequity 4/14/2021

Frozen Out in Texas: Blackouts and Inequity

JP Carvallo, Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Researcher Feng Chi Hsu,  Zeal Shah, and Jay Taneja write about how in February, blackouts in the Texas power grid left over 4.5 million customers in the dark, many of them for several days. A substantial amount of these blackouts were transmission disconnections and emergency load shedding events triggered by ERCOT, the entity in charge of ensuring a reliable supply of electricity in Texas. In this analysis, we use satellite data on nighttime lights to track blackouts at the census block group (CBG) level and correlate it with demographic data to understand how equitable these blackouts were.  April 14, 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.

Comparative Analysis of Selected African Natural Gas Markets and Related Policies

Comparative Analysis of Selected African Natural Gas Markets and Related Policies

John Ayaburi, Shashwat Sharma, Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Dr. Greer Gosnell, and Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about the discovery of natural gas resources across the African continent that have inspired debate on how such resources should be developed and best utilized. In several African countries, the discovery of commercial quantities of natural gas reserves has led governments to explore a number of strategies, investments, and policy directions. Two contrasting cases are that of Nigeria, which has pursued policies promoting domestic natural gas consumption and export, and Ghana, which has focused on encouraging sectoral-level domestic consumption.  April 5, 2021.

Black carbon emissions from flaring in Russia in the period 2012–2017 4/2/2021

Black carbon emissions from flaring in Russia in the period 2012–2017

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Dr. Mikhail Zhizhin’s (and others) research shows how gas flaring in the oil and gas industry has been identified as an important source of anthropogenic black carbon (BC) affecting the climate, particularly in the Arctic. Our study provides spatially-explicit estimates of BC emissions from flaring in Russia utilising state-of-the-art methodology for determining the emission factors. We utilised satellite time series of the flared gas volume from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) for the period 2012 to 2017, supplemented with information on the gas and oil field type.  April 2, 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.

CARGO VESSELS WAITING TO PASS THE SUEZ CANAL DOUBLED IN 24 HOURS 3/26/2021

CARGO VESSELS WAITING TO PASS THE SUEZ CANAL DOUBLED IN 24 HOURS

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Feng Chi Hsu looks at the Ever Given, one of the largest cargo vessels in operation, that has been stuck in the Suez Canal for days, via satellite.  The vessel blocks the two-way traffic of the canal, which has caused the number of cargo vessels waiting to pass through the canal to double in 24 hours from March 25th to 26th, 2021.  March 26, 2021.

The rise of electric vehicles—2020 status and future expectations 3/25/2021

The rise of electric vehicles—2020 status and future expectations

Matteo Muratori, Marcus Alexander, Doug Arent, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Ercan M. Dede, John Farrell, Chis Gearhart, David Greene, Alan Jenn, Matthew Keyser, Timothy Lipman, Sreekant Narumanchi, Ahmad Pesaran, Ramteen Sioshansi, Emilia Suomalainen, Gil Tal, Kevin Walkowicz, and Jacob Ward wrote this article about how electric vehicles (EVs) are experiencing a rise in popularity over the past few years as the technology has matured and costs have declined, and support for clean transportation has promoted awareness, increased charging opportunities, and facilitated EV adoption.  This detailed review paints a positive picture for the future of EVs for on-road transportation, and the authors remain hopeful that remaining technology, regulatory, societal, behavioral, and business-model barriers can be addressed over time to support a transition toward cleaner, more efficient, and affordable transportation solutions for all.  March 25, 2021.