Circular Economy

Bringing together policymakers, manufacturers, and consumers and assessing all sectors and interconnectivities to develop a life cycle approach to the circular economy and moving to a zero waste future (materials and energy)

Bringing together policymakers, manufacturers, and consumers and assessing all sectors and interconnectivities to develop a life cycle approach to the circular economy and moving to a zero waste future (materials and energy)

Over 90% of the global economy continues to function with the unsustainable, linear “take-make-toss” process in relation to materials. Manufacturers rely on raw natural resources for processing and production, and the materials produced largely lack viability or end of use/life strategy. The circular economy looks to reduce waste in the life cycle of production and increase efficiency and effectiveness of recycling at the end of life for products.

Colorado School of Mines, the Payne Institute for Public Policy and our partners are working to address this issue and generate important research on the circular economy. Colorado School of Mines has expertise at every point of production. From the initial identification and extraction of natural resources, to processing, manufacturing, distribution, and product end-of-life reclamation. Through collaboration on campus with our geophysics, mining engineering, advanced manufacturing, mechanical engineering and chemistry departments and others. As well as off campus collaboration with NREL and various industry partners, the Payne Institute is connecting its breath of technical expertise with the world of public policy to bring the issue of the circular economy to the forefront.

NEWS

Battery Storage for Resilient Homes 10/20/2020

Battery Storage for Resilient Homes

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian and Emon Chatterji write about small-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS), especially for behind-the-meter applications, that are still relatively expensive, but we show that it can be a potent solution to render homes resilient to storm related power outages. We present a stochastic programming model formulation to optimize PV/BESS explicitly accounting for resilience benefits these investments entail, over and above their ability to reduce cost of supply.  October 20, 2020.

Regulation to play a key role in India’s gas ambitions 10/15/2020

Regulation to play a key role in India’s gas ambitions

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell and Payne Faculty Fellow Ian Lange write about how India’s government has in recent months reaffirmed its commitment to the development of an expanded domestic gas grid and cross-border interconnections such as the long-mooted Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline. But the experience of the US gas market suggests that smart and considered government gas transport regulation could play as crucial a role in boosting Indian gas demand as simply increasing pipeline capacity.  October 15, 2020.

Sociotechnical typologies for national energy transitions 10/14/2020

Sociotechnical typologies for national energy transitions

Norbert Edomah, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, and Ben Sovacool write about the energy landscape and how it is changing dramatically. It is populated by many different and discrete energy transitions happening simultaneously in across different sectors, with dynamically different drivers, and across varying locations. This Perspective proposes a new three-part categorization to help better understand the myriad socio-technical changes being witnessed, which cut across user and market behaviour as well as institutions and technologies. We express energy transitions in three categories: Interim energy transitions, shaped by policies without necessarily public acceptance, mostly within non-democratic regimes. October 14, 2020.

REFRESHING GLOBAL ENERGY SECURITY POLICY AND INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION 10/6/2020

REFRESHING GLOBAL ENERGY SECURITY POLICY AND INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian was a collaborator on the T20 Saudi Arabia 2020 THINK policy briefing Refreshing Global Energy Security Policy and the Infrastructure for the Energy Transition for the G20.  The Group of 20 (G20) members have discussed energy security for many years, and now have an opportunity to modernize and redefine global, regional, and national energy security frameworks to align with the transition to a lower-carbon energy system. Member countries should take steps to ensure that emerging vulnerabilities stemming from the rapid growth of new energy forms can be understood and managed both collectively and within their specific contexts. As all energy sectors transition, collective efforts toward energy security can progress by (i) developing a timely, transparent, and objective approach to data gathering and dissemination for the production, consumption, and trade of new energy forms and key mineral inputs; (ii) establishing an expert international advisory panel to the G20 on the topic of energy security in the context of energy transitions; and (iii) launching an effort on forward-looking energy security policy.  October 6, 2020. 

Strategic Intelligence – Mining and Metals 9/23/2020

Strategic Intelligence – Mining and Metals

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Jordy Lee has documented the paradigm shift in the mining and metals industry, as it incorporates greater sustainability, absorbs technical innovation from other sectors, and seeks a way forward in the midst of a pandemic. By focussing on modernization, digitalization, and transparency, the industry can strengthen its foundational role in a rapidly evolving global economy. However, effectively managing related changes will require greater adaptability, transformative thinking, and building stronger relationships in a global context.  September 23, 2020. 

It’s time for states that grew rich from oil, gas and coal to figure out what’s next 9/23/2020

It’s time for states that grew rich from oil, gas and coal to figure out what’s next

Payne Institute Fellow Brad Handler, Matt Henry, and Morgan Bazilian write about the very challenging times for U.S. fossil fuel-producing states, such as Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota. The COVID-19 economic downturn has reduced energy demand, with uncertain prospects for the extent of its recovery. Meanwhile, rising concern about climate change and the declining cost of renewable energy are precipitating a sharp decline in demand for coal in particular.  September 23, 2020. 

11 WAYS TO MEASURE CLEAN GROWTH 9/22/2020

11 WAYS TO MEASURE CLEAN GROWTH

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon contributes to this report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices that highlights the multiple facets of clean growth by unpacking the connections between economic growth, climate change, and human well-being. We identify 11 data-driven indicators that, together, can guide efforts by governments, businesses, and communities to not only tackle climate change but to do so in a way that achieves sustained growth and the best overall outcomes for people and society as a whole.  September 22, 2020.  

BP Releases Energy Outlook 9/14/2020

BP Releases Energy Outlook

Payne Institute Fellow Michael Cohen, Chief U.S. Economist and Head of Oil Analysis at BP, produced the Energy Outlook that explores the forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2050 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition. The global energy system is likely to undergo a fundamental restructuring in order to decarbonize, which will create challenges and opportunities for the industry. Three main scenarios – Rapid, Net Zero, and Business-as-usual – provide a range of possible outcomes to understand the range of uncertainties ahead.  September 14, 2020. 

Beware of climate delay, masquerading as climate action 9/10/2020

Beware of climate delay, masquerading as climate action

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon writes an opinion piece about the slow-walking action on climate has almost the same impact as outright denial.  As political leaders face growing calls for climate action, we must be careful to understand where investments in technological development are, in fact, a form of climate delay, masquerading as action.  September 10, 2020.

Read All News

For more information about the Circular Economy Research Area at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, please contact our Strategy and Operations Manager, Gregory Clough, at gclough@mines.edu.