Commentary Series

CAUCASUS ENERGY INFRASTURCTURE UNDER THREAT, AS AZERBAIJAN-ARMENIAN CRISIS CONTINUES? 8/5/2020

CAUCASUS ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE UNDER THREAT, AS AZERBAIJAN-ARMENIAN CRISIS CONTINUES?

Payne Institute Fellow Cyril Widdershoven writes about the decades old Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is heating up again, as both sides are putting their armed forces on alert. The unexpected escalation, which could be even going into a next phase, due to increased Turkish-Azerbaijani cooperation the last days, is not only putting the Caucasus region on full alert, but also could be threatening major regional and international oil and gas transport infrastructure at risk.  August 5, 2020.

PROPOSING A JUST TRANSITION RATING SYSTEM

PROPOSING A JUST TRANSITION RATING SYSTEM

Payne Institute Fellow Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the energy transitions threaten to leave communities struggling with facility closures, job losses, and reductions in tax revenues. Many of these communities will seek to reinvigorate—or even reinvent—themselves through investment and programs to spur job and business creation. Although some communities may have “rainy day” funds available for this investment (although legislatures have to be persuaded to use such funds for this purpose), many do not. As such, some municipalities (or other local government formations) will likely have to turn to public debt markets. July 16, 2020.

SO, YOU WANT TO MAKE BATTERIES BETTER TOO? 6/9/2020

SO, YOU WANT TO MAKE BATTERIES BETTER TOO?

Payne Institute Fellow Emily Hersh, Alex Grant, and Chris Berry write a framework for developing lithium-ion battery supply chain industrial strategy.  The 2020s will see a boom in demand for lithium, manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, and electric vehicle deployment on a massive scale as a part of our energy transition away from fossil fuels. Politicians around the world are wondering how their jurisdictions can participate in the lithium ion battery supply chain. Simultaneously, there is concern about the concentration of lithium-ion battery industrial activity in China.  June 9, 2020.
English Version – So, You Want to Make Batteries Better Too?
Spanish Version – Serie de comentarios de Payne – Entonces tú También Quieres Hacer Baterías

COVID-19: A Wake-up Call to Increase Access to Electricity in Africa 4/24/2020

COVID-19: A WAKE-UP CALL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY IN AFRICA

Payne Fellow Jamal Saghir and Adrian Tylim write an commentary on how the world is at a turning point. COVID-19 is putting enormous pressure on each segment of a country’s society and economy. For developing countries that were already facing major social, health and economic challenges before COVID-19, this pressure is particularly excruciating. April 24, 2020.

POST COVID-19 NEW WORLD CONFIGURATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS: TWO URGENT PRIORITIES April 10, 2020

POST COVID-19 NEW WORLD CONFIGURATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS: TWO URGENT PRIORITIES

In few weeks or months, the world will have to reconvene to forge a new chapter in humanity, I would call it the Post COVID-19 New World Configuration. It will be an historic moment: the ultimate test of global survival, globalization, and cooperation. Yet the building blocks toward this new World are proceeding so slowly that humanity is in grave danger. If we miss the opportunity to protect ourselves and our planet, there will be no second chance; no way to go back and undo the catastrophic health, economic and social damage of COVID-19.  April 10, 2020.

A DIGITAL CANOPY: GETTING TO TRANSPARENCY April 3, 2020

A DIGITAL CANOPY: GETTING TO TRANSPARENCY

Earlier we wrote a commentary titled, “LEANING IN: MOVING AHEAD OF REGULATIONS FOR NATURAL GAS EMISSIONS.” That Commentary stressed that one of the key steps for oil and gas operators is to establish transparency across their operations, which will help support a ‘social license to operate’ from the community, regulators, and investors. This is a critical step in moving towards “responsibly-sourced” oil and gas. April 3, 2020.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq Toughens Up on Oil Smuggling April 2, 2020

THE KURDISTAN REGION OF IRAQ TOUGHENS UP ON OIL SMUGGLING

Payne Fellow Peri-Khan Aqrawi-Whitcomb comments on how the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc without regard to geographic boundaries, attacking almost every sphere of our public and private lives, and unveiling some of the world’s major shortcomings. Those shortcomings include institutional capacity and good governance. As a result, there is a rapid global spread of the virus due to, inter alia, a lack of adequate coordination, transparency, cooperation, preparedness, and inadequate mitigation policies—all exacerbated by economic greed and short-sightedness. This Comment considers the analogies between global diseases and illicit trade (with a focus on oil in Iraqi Kurdistan). Both have penetrated the world in a way that no region is immune, and the best cure is good governance and cooperation on a global and local scale. April 2, 2020.

The United States Mineral Supply Insecurity and Dependence on Rare Earth Elements April 1, 2020

THE UNITED STATES MINERAL SUPPLY INSECURITY AND DEPENDENCE ON RARE EARTH ELEMENTS

Despite the trade war with China and the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the United States of America (U.S) faces the continuous problem of resource dependence and resource insecurity of its processed Rare Earth mineral supply chain. The latter problem arises for three reasons: First, is the import reliance on Chinese processed Rare Earth supply to the United States. Second, is the negligence of the U.S in developing its own mining sector. Third, is the disconnect between mineral strategy and policy. The aim of this brief to shed an understanding on the current U.S capacity to refine Rare Earths, and to provide recommendations to achieve a sustainable industry. April 1, 2020.

THE SHRINKING PATH FORWARD FOR U.S. OILFIELD SERVICES March 31, 2020

THE SHRINKING PATH FORWARD FOR U.S. OILFIELD SERVICES

The recent oil price collapse is setting the stage for yet another steep decline in revenue and profit for the U.S. Oilfield Services (OFS) sector. As challenging as it will be for U.S. OFS companies to weather this storm, it represents just another blow to a sector already beleaguered by its and its customers’ inability to deliver adequate financial returns and longer-term demand uncertainty given climate change (decarbonization) concerns. All of these threaten to shrink and transform OFS in the years to come. March 31, 2020.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY March 30, 2020

COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

Payne Institute Fellow Jamal Saghir writes a timely commentary.  When some experts described the COVID-19 pandemic as the most dangerous global challenge since World War II, potentially overshadowing the 2008-2009 financial crisis- they were correct. Although disasters diverge in their causes and scope of impact, they are connected by the necessity for coordinated international, regional, national, and local responses. The world is on the verge of major economic recession and the impact on every country, rich or poor, will be tremendous unless early actions are implemented quickly. March 30, 2020.

LEANING IN: MOVING AHEAD OF REGULATIONS FOR NATURAL GAS EMISSIONS March 19, 2020

LEANING IN: MOVING AHEAD OF REGULATIONS FOR NATURAL GAS EMISSIONS

Payne Commentary about the natural gas industry, which is facing a number of headwinds. These challenges include decarbonization, electrification, and digitization. More recent pressure stems from low and volatile prices, supply gluts, heavy debt loads, and a nascent oil “war”.  March 19, 2020.

TRASHY DATA, AN EXAMINATION OF ORGANIC COMPOST DIVERTED FROM MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE STREAMS January 27, 2020

TRASHY DATA, AN EXAMINATION OF ORGANIC COMPOST DIVERTED FROM MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE STREAMS

Payne Institute student John Massale comments about the recycling policy regarding Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) varies by region, county, and city.  This research examined the type of policy that leads to the largest diversion of compostable materials from landfills.  The data was gathered by performing small case studies of a handful of US cities that have established voluntary, mandatory, or incentivized composting programs.   January 27, 2020.

COLORADO EMISSION REDUCTION TARGETS: LOFTY GOALS OR REACHABLE TARGETS? January 9, 2020

COLORADO EMISSION REDUCTION TARGETS: LOFTY GOALS OR REACHABLE TARGETS?

Payne Institute student Anna Evans comments on Colorado’s relative position in setting emission reduction targets, an analysis of Colorado’s potential reduction strategies, and looking specifically at the effects that improved insulation or the adoption of LED lighting in residential homes would have on residential emissions.  January 9, 2020.

DENVER, LYFT, AND THE ELECTRIC FUTURE January 6, 2020

DENVER, LYFT, AND THE ELECTRIC FUTURE

Payne Institute student Will Callahan comments about emissions from the transportation sector that pose a great risk to global health. Vehicle electrification is one way to mitigate tailpipe emission, thereby reducing the health risk. Gov. Jared Polis and Lyft recently announced Lyft’s plan to add 200 electric vehicles (EVs) to the Denver fleet. Data from EVI Pro Lite, Auto Alliance, and a doctoral dissertation on ride-hailing were used to estimate the impact of Lyft’s decision on Denver’s emission profile and existing charging infrastructure. An initial injection of 200 EVs will have a small but non-negligible effect on emissions.  January 6, 2020.

POST-CONFLICT ENERGY PLANNING IN THE MIDDLE EAST October 18, 2019

POST-CONFLICT ENERGY PLANNING IN THE MIDDLE EAST

We examine the primary policy constraints that affect post-conflict energy planning in the Middle East region. The focus countries are Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya. We also highlight the role of renewable energy projects in promoting sustainable energy planning post-conflict. October 18, 2019.

LATIN AMERICA’S DIVERSE LITHIUM OPPORTUNITY AND LITHIUM IN A BATTERY September 30, 2019

LATIN AMERICA’S DIVERSE LITHIUM OPPORTUNITY AND LITHIUM IN A BATTERY

A two part series discussing lithium and how it can be processed into a pure metallic state, its application and uses in the growing battery market are as chemical compounds. Lithium production is relatively scarce and complex. The lithium market is growing exponentially but is marked by volatility in the short term.  September 30, 2019.
Part 1 – Latin America’s Diverse Lithium Opportunity and a Sustainable Energy Future
Part 2 – Lithium in a Battery
Parte 1 – Las Diversas Oportunidades para el Litio en Latinomérica y un Futuro Energético Sustentable
Parte 2 – El Litio en una Batería

INVESTING IN RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS June 1, 2019

INVESTING IN RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Both the public and the private sectors face challenges accessing capital and financing for climate
resilience projects, as well as justifying the upfront costs by Jamal Saghir.  June 2019.

THE GOLD RUSH IN VENEZUELA COULD DESTABILIZE LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN May 1, 2019

THE GOLD RUSH IN VENEZUELA COULD DESTABILIZE LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

David Soud writes regarding Venezuela and the illegal gold mining that has become big criminal business, and now poses a major security risk to that troubled country’s neighbors. As Venezuela slides toward possible collapse, gold has replaced the country’s world-leading oil reserves as a means to prop up the nearly bankrupt Maduro regime. May 2019.

GLOBAL COMMODITY AND TRADE FLOWS THREATENED BY MENA POWER PROJECTIONS March 1, 2019

GLOBAL COMMODITY AND TRADE FLOWS THREATENED BY MENA POWER PROJECTIONS

International geopolitical discourse lately has been looking at the growing impact of China’s One Belt One Road initiative in Asia, Middle East and Europe. Mainstream media has extensively assessed the influence of China’s economic power projections in the targeted regions, with specific focus on the financial power of Beijing to change alliances and regional constellations. March 2019.

SCALING UP ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN EMERGING MARKETS: GLOBAL EXPERIENCES, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES February 1, 2019

SCALING UP ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN EMERGING MARKETS: GLOBAL EXPERIENCES, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

As developing economies will play an increasingly critical role in driving global economic growth, their lack of established sound policy frameworks and mechanisms to reduce energy intensity risk negating any progress that has been made to shift the global economy to a cleaner and more efficient energy system. February, 2019.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION January 1, 2019

CIRCULAR ECONOMY FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION

The linear economy has negative impacts on the economy and environment as it relies on a continuous supply of virgin resources, omitting the utilization of the value in waste products and the synergies between the different sectors and stages of the economy. January 2019.

 

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, viewpoints, or official policies of the Payne Institute or Colorado School of Mines.