Category: US and Canada

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.  

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.

Air-Conditioning Should Be a Human Right in the Climate Crisis 5/10/2022

Air-Conditioning Should Be a Human Right in the Climate Crisis

Rose M. Mutiso, Morgan D. Bazilian, Jacob Kincer, and Brooke Bowser write about how we need to protect vulnerable people from killer heat without destroying the environment.  As the world heats up, billions of people need air-conditioning. This 120-year-old technology used to be considered a luxury, but in the age of climate change, it is a necessity for human survival. Understandably, this has created anxiety over the climate threat of a world overrun with ACs. But the coming boom in air-conditioning is an essential shift toward reducing the enormous gap in cooling availability that exists between rich and poor people and nations—and toward producing a more equitable world.  May 10, 2022.

Corporate ESG Commitments are Gaining Popularity. Can They be Trusted?

Corporate ESG Commitments are Gaining Popularity. Can They be Trusted?

Payne Institute Communications Associate Elsa Barron, Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee, and Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian write about the growing concerns about the long-term sustainability of many industries have led to big changes in approaches to corporate strategies and management. Pressure from financiers is adding to the momentum. Concerns about climate related financial risks and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data, have helped create demand from bankers for companies to show that they are actively working towards global climate goals.  May 9, 2022. 

Location, Location, Low-Carbon: How Climate is Changing the Holy Trinity of Real Estate 5/6/2022

Location, Location, Low-Carbon: How Climate is Changing the Holy Trinity of Real Estate

Payne Institute Communications Associate Simon Lomax writes about how the cardinal rule for real estate used to be location, location, location, but now he is confident the new trinity that drives value in the real estate sector: location, location, low-carbon.  Location remains critically important, but for a growing number of real estate firms, so is climate change and speeding up the world’s transition to a zero-carbon energy system.  May 6, 2022.