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

Global Energy Politics June 1, 2020

GLOBAL ENERGY POLITICS

Payne Institute Fellow Thijs Van de Graaf has a new book that uncovers the intricate ways in which our energy systems have shaped global outcomes in four key areas of world politics: security, the economy, the environment and global justice. We are on the cusp of a global energy shift that promises to be no less transformative for the pursuit of wealth and power in world politics than the historical shifts from wood to coal and from coal to oil. This ongoing energy transformation will not only upend the global balance of power; it could also fundamentally transfer political authority away from the nation state, empowering citizens, regions and local communities. June 1, 2020.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION: THE CASE OF GHANA’S SANKOFA GAS PROJECT 5/26/2020

ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION: THE CASE OF GHANA’S SANKOFA GAS PROJECT

Payne Institute Scholar John Ayaburi and Director Morgan Bazilian consider the economic benefits of Ghana’s Sankofa natural gas project.  In 2014, Ghanaians experienced severe power outages — known as “dumsor” — with the productivity losses estimated at 2 percent of GDP. Domestic natural gas production could provide reliable and low cost electricity for Ghana, if it can be developed. A joint project, Sankofa gas project, aimed at developing natural gas off the coast of Ghana promises to transform the country’s energy mix.  May 26, 2020

Economic impacts of the 2020 oil market crash 5/21/2020

ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE 2020 OIL MARKET CRASH

Payne Fellow Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the upstream oil and gas industry risks losing more than 200,000 jobs over the next six to 12 months—comparable to the 2015–2016 oil market downturn—and appears poised to shrink over the longer term, as well. This may challenge states and local communities that have significant upstream exposure and suggests they focus on making their economies more resilient.  May 21, 2020. 

Steel, Hydrogen And Renewables: Strange Bedfellows? Maybe Not… 5/15/2020

STEEL, HYDROGEN AND RENEWABLES: STRANGE BEDFELLOWS? MAYBE NOT…

Payne Institute Fellow Dolf Gielen and Advisory Board member Kenneth Medlock write that as firms and nations increasingly adopt “net zero” carbon ambitions, some sectors of the economy stand out as more difficult in meeting those goals, particularly industrial activities that require very high temperatures and/or generate process emissions associated with chemical transformations. While these sectors present challenges towards deep decarbonization, new opportunities are emerging rapidly. A future low-carbon energy system will likely be more material-intensive than the current one, and in virtually any vision of a net-zero carbon future there is a massive need for new infrastructure.  May 15, 2020.  

The Coronavirus Reaffirms the Importance of Sustainable Development in Mining 5/13/2020

THE CORONAVIRUS REAFFIRMS THE IMPORTANCE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN MINING

Payne Research Associate Jordy Lee and Morgan Bazilian explain why disruptions from COVID-19 can have larger implications for developing nations that are dependent on the mining industry. Without an overt focus on sustainable development, many counties will continue to suffer from market fluctuations and price volatility. May 13, 2020. 

COVID-19 has tested governments around the world – here’s what that means for the energy transition 5/13/2020

COVID-19 HAS TESTED GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD – HERE’S WHAT THAT MEANS FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION

Payne Institute Advisory Board member David Victor and Payne Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the world is ensconced in a global public health crisis due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the related economic crisis and oil market crash, the path to a low-carbon future has become more uncertain.  It is more critical than ever to look at countries’ readiness for the energy transition.  May 13, 2020.

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 5/13/2020

FOSTERING EFFECTIVE ENERGY TRANSITION – 2020 EDITION

The Payne Institute contributed to the World Economic Forum Platform for Shaping the Future of Energy and Materials.  The annual benchmarking of energy systems across countries has enabled tracking the speed and direction of their energy transition and identifying opportunities for improvement. The transformation of the energy system over the past decade, although slower than required to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, has been significant. But this hard‑earned momentum now risks being lost, as the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic continues to cause economic and social damage.  May 13, 2020.  

Culture and low-carbon energy transitions 5/11/2020

CULTURE AND LOW-CARBON ENERGY TRANSITIONS

Payne Institute Fellow Steve Griffiths writes about how culture influences low-carbon energy transitions? How can insights about cultural influences guide energy planners and policymakers trying to stimulate transitions, particularly at a time of rapid technological change? This Review examines the influence of culture on a selection of low-carbon technologies and behavioural practices that reflect different dimensions of sustainability. May 11, 2020.  

MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON WITH OIL AND GAS: INSIGHTS FROM A PETROLEUM ENGINEER 5/8/2020

MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON WITH OIL AND GAS: INSIGHTS FROM A PETROLEUM ENGINEER

Mines Energy Future podcast featuring Dr. Jennifer L. Miskimins, Interim Department Head and Professor, Petroleum Engineering, Director, Fracturing, Acidizing, Stimulation Technology (FAST), Co-Director, Center for Earth Materials, Mechanics and Characterization at Colorado School of Mines discussing the future of oil and gas in these unpredictable times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. May 8, 2020.

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