Category: US and Canada

Colonial Pipeline hack reveals critical infrastructure risks 5/10/2021

Colonial Pipeline hack reveals critical infrastructure risks

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian discusses big industrial networks, including the Colonial Pipeline, which has been down for three days following a cyberbreach, that fill vital everyday needs such as gasoline, clean water and electricity on a podcast with Scott Tong. The Joe Biden administration plans new cyber rules for agencies and contractors involved in critical infrastructure.  May 10, 2021.

The U.S. Government Can Accelerate Investment Managers’ Contribution to Global Carbon Emissions Reduction 5/4/2021

The U.S. Government Can Accelerate Investment Managers’ Contribution to Global Carbon Emissions Reduction

Payne Institute Researcher Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how climate change has emerged as arguably the single most important driver for long-term investment performance. Broad swaths of the economy are currently impacted by the physical risks of climate change (e.g. from extreme weather), and transitional risks to lower-carbon sources of energy. May 4, 2021.

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.

New US climate pledge: Cut emissions 50% this decade, but can Biden make it happen? 4/22/2021

New US climate pledge: Cut emissions 50% this decade, but can Biden make it happen?

Payne Institute Advisory Board Member David Victor and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how President Joe Biden announced an ambitious new national climate target at a livestreamed summit of world leaders on April 22, 2021: He pledged to cut U.S. carbon emissions in half by the end of this decade and aim for net zero emissions by 2050. The new goal is a big deal because it formally brings together the many different ideas on infrastructure, the budget, federal regulatory policy, and disparate actions in the states and industry for transforming the U.S. economy into a highly competitive, yet very green giant. April 22, 2021.

He pioneered research into how fossil fuels are shocking our oceans. Now he has Bill Gates’ ear 4/22/2021

He pioneered research into how fossil fuels are shocking our oceans. Now he has Bill Gates’ ear.

Payne Institute Advisory Board member Ken Caldeira is featured in the Reuters Hot Lister on his long career as a groundbreaking researcher on global warming.  But Caldeira’s most profound influence in science may be as an adviser, be it to students or to one of the world’s richest men, as billionaires fund climate research.  April 22, 2021.

The Climate Debates: Can America Break Its Natural Gas Addiction? 4/16/2021

The Climate Debates: Can America Break Its Natural Gas Addiction?

Payne Institute Fellow Arvind Ravikumar participates in this discussion about how to wean the U.S. off of natural gas.  As more and more people have come to understand the urgency of the climate crisis in recent years, and Americans have elected a president in Joe Biden who has pledged to make addressing climate the centerpiece of his administration, but there is much debate about exactly how we should go about confronting our collective climate challenge.  April 16, 2021.

Biden can decarbonize electricity with these quick wins 4/15/2021

Biden can decarbonize electricity with these quick wins

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Clark Miller write about how bold goals to address climate change are emerging globally, and the U.S. will undoubtedly announce its own shortly. The technical pathways to meet net-zero emissions goals demonstrate an accelerating role for renewable energy, thanks to tremendous recent cost declines. April 15, 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.