Commentary Series

COLORADO’S 2019 CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

The Payne Institute Commentary Series has added a Student Viewpoint: Colorado’s 2019 Climate Action Plan by Madeline R. Macmillan. November 11, 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

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

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

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.

MOVING TO ZERO ROUTINE GAS FLARING IN COLORADO

In 2015, the World Bank launched an initiative to help move oil and gas producers across the world to “Zero Routine Flaring” by 2030 by Bjorn Hamso.  May 2019.

URBAN RESILIENCE: THE CASE OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA REGION

As the World becomes predominantly urban, cities are increasingly emerging as the center field where the main challenges for sustainable development and growth must be tackled.  April 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

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

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.

FOR AFRICA, IT’S GRID + OFF-GRID, NOT GRID VS. OFFGRID

Can Africans increase their access to energy faster and more broadly through an on-grid or an off-grid approach? October 2018.

PROPOSITION 112 IMPACTS ON COLORADO

Proposition 112 is a critical change in how oil and gas is regulated in Colorado, and many claims are being made about the impact. October 2018.

SIMPLE PAYBACK – THE DEATH OF MOST COST EFFECTIVE CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS

In our personal lives, we tend to use reasonably sophisticated decisionmaking criteria, such as return-on-investment (ROI), to make retirement investment decisions. However, at work many of us seem to default to simple payback as the primary decision-making
method for clean energy investments, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration projects. October 2018.

SUSTAINABLE FLOOD PREDICTION AND MITIGATION

Floods pose a major impact on society by loss of life, livelihood, infrastructure, agricultural lands, and water quality. October 2018.

COLORADO OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT AND A POLITICALLY-CHARGED BALLOT PROPOSITION

Politics are local, so good policy must be deeply rooted in local context, be precisely written, acknowledge the need to be flexible or adaptable over time, and have a realistic chance of meeting its objectives. October 2018.

THE EVOLVING ROLES AND STRUCTURES OF UNIVERSITY-AFFILIATED ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTES

This is a Working Paper that we hope will elicit comments and suggestions that will be used to refine and augment the work. Its principal impetus was to better understand the landscape of university-affiliated energy and environment institutes to inform the development of the nascent Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines. October 2018.

THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS BLACK MARKET

The oil market value is larger than the world’s valuable raw metal markets combined, with an annual production value of USD 1.7 trillion (compared to USD 660 billion for other commodities like gold, iron, copper, aluminum, and zinc). It is the most traded commodity on global markets and still the world’s leading energy source, with growing demand, a volatile pricing system, and much of its production in volatile geographic regions. It comes as little surprise, therefore, that production and trade in crude oil and refined petroleum products has produced a flourishing black market. October 2018.

A NOTE ON THE IMPACTS OF PROPOSITION 112

Colorado Proposition 112 proposes to prohibit oil and gas drilling within 2500 feet of homes, schools, or other “occupied structures” or “vulnerable areas”. October 2018.

THE FUTURE OF NATURAL GAS: A TALE OF TWO WORLDS

While shale gas has “revolutionized” the energy sector in the United States, and is starting to have an impact on global LNG trade, the picture is very different in other parts of the world. October 2018.

A GUIDE TO ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL COMPLEXITY OF FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDY REFORMS

Explores the complex economics and politics of fossil fuel subsidies, and distils key principles for designing and implementing of effective reforms. September 2018.

FLORENCE AFTERMATH

The U.S. DOE is regularly issues status reports about the impact of Hurricane Florence on the energy sector. They outline six steps for addressing power outages ranging from generating plants, to transmission, to essential services and homes. September 2018.

INDIA’S SOLAR IMPORT DUTIES ARE SLOWING DOWN THE CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government aims to install 227 gigawatts of renewable power generation capacity by 2022. Accounting for one-half of the targeted capacity, solar power plays a key role in these plans. September 2018.

IMO 2020: ECONOMICS PROSPECTS

With the IMO 2020 rule’s imposition, diesel fuel prices could skyrocket, and the 2020 GDP loss might be as much as seven percent. August 2018.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in September 2015. They significantly broaden the areas covered by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and give an official recognition of the central role of energy as an enabler for development. August 2018.

OIL SECURITY AND GEOGRAPHY

Rising Tensions Threaten Middle East Oil Chokepoints: Background and Policy Options. August 2018.

TAXATION AND INVESTMENT DECISIONS IN PETROLEUM

When governments apply high tax rates targeted at natural resource rent, there must be generous deductions in order to avoid investment  disincentives. How generous is disputed. Based on standard theory and recommendations from the OECD and the IMF, the value of future deductions depends on the risks of these, and the companies’ after-tax weighted-average cost of capital cannot be applied directly. June 9, 2018.

GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS MITIGATION: INVESTIGATION OF THE ROLE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND OTHER TECHNOLOGIES UNTIL 2060

The Paris Climate Agreement objective of well-below 2 degrees global average temperature change requires the elimination of anthropogenic CO2 emissions shortly after 2060. The industry sector is an important source of greenhouse gas emissions. By Dolf Gielen, Payne Institute fellow and director of technology and innovation at the International Renewable Energy Agency. June 2018.

POLITICS AND BARRELS OPEC-RUSSIA PRODUCTION DECISION LEAVES MARKET IN THE DARK

Cyril Widdershoven, Payne Institute fellow and founder of Verocy, authors viewpoint for the Payne Institute commentary series. June 2018.

A NEW VIEW OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES FROM SPACE

This new image is a USA-focused subset from the 2017 Black Marble produced by the NOAA Earth Observation Group in Boulder, Colorado. The NGDC Earth Observation Group specializes in nighttime observations of lights and combustion sources worldwide. The group started working with DMSP data in 1994 and has produced a time series of annual cloud-free composites of DMSP nighttime lights. June 2018.

OUR MENTAL MODELS OF MINERAL DEPLETION—AND WHY THEY MATTER

Shortages of mineral commodities can arise for numerous reasons—mineral depletion, inadequate investment in new mines and processing facilities, unanticipated surges in demand, cartels, embargoes, wars, mine accidents, and even prolonged strikes. It is useful, however, to separate mineral commodity shortages into two distinct groups. The first includes shortages due to mineral depletion; the second, shortages owing to all other causes. May 2018.

HERE COMES THE SUN: WASHINGTON AND U.S. SHALE NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR THE NEW SUN KING

The world tour of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has generated enough interest and support in the West to proceed with his Vision 2030 and regional power plans. April 2018.

FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDY REFORMS AND THEIR IMPACTS ON FIRMS

While the potential adverse effects of fossil fuel subsidy reform are well documented for households, the literature has largely ignored the effect of subsidy reform on firms’ competitiveness. This paper discusses how firms are affected by, and respond to, energy price increases caused by subsidy reforms. It highlights that cost increases (both direct and indirect) do not necessarily reflect competitiveness losses, since firms have various ways to mitigate and pass on price shocks. June 27, 2017.

 

The Payne Institute experts are regional, national, and international leaders in applied research in natural resources, energy, and the environment. Our team is involved in a wide variety of research projects in these fields, and are committed to sharing these results with academic and professional audiences.

 

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.