The Era of Commercial Space Mining Begins
Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert and Morgan Bazilian write a commentary on NASA’s most recent announcement of a ground-breaking solicitation: NASA wants to buy lunar regolith extracted by a private company. In order to spur commercial space resources technology, NASA’s procurement is for the purchase of 50-500 grams of lunar regolith, or rock materials, from the surface of the Moon. September 23, 2020.
Are We Running Out of Natural Gas Storage?
Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell writes a commentary on how the US burned the most natural gas for electricity in its history this summer, but current month-to-month natural gas price spreads suggest we may be running low on natural gas storage. September 23, 2020.
Innovation to Drive Water Security in the Arab Region
Payne Institute Fellow Jamal Saghir writes about how the Arab world is now the world’s driest region, with several countries being among the world’s most water scarce, where per capita renewable water availability is already less than 500 cubic meters per year. This is the level set by the World Health Organization for severe scarcity at which water becomes a hurdle to economic growth and beyond which water scarcity becomes a key concern in people’s lives and begins to affect the development process. September 11, 2020.
Country Spotlight: Gas Flaring in India
The Payne Institute looks at the gas flaring in India. According to the IEA, India is the fourth largest refiner of oil (behind the US, Russia, and China), and the third largest importer of crude oil and LNG (behind China and the US), though is outranked by 24 other countries on oil production, with declining trends. September 3, 2020.
Hurricane Laura from Space
The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group has been viewing the power outages following Hurricane Laura. One of the consequences of many natural disasters are power outages, which result in losses in electric lighting that can be detected with low light imaging data. This paper looks at the nighttime light images of the impacted areas. August 28, 2020.
Crisis Breeds Change: COVID and Heatwaves Spur Citizens to Environmental Action
Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell writes about the brutal heatwaves in California and the rolling blackouts. Crisis—along with a stark break in routine—appeared to refocus people’s attention on their everyday actions, and a bigger picture. August 21, 2020.
Natural Gas Transportation Price Regulation and the Dash for Gas
Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell and Payne Faculty Fellow Ian Lange write about the large reduction in natural gas prices due to horizontal fracturing that has led to an unprecedented expansion in natural gas use for electricity generation. Another innovation that helped facilitate the expansion of natural gas electricity generation is the deregulation of natural gas pipeline transportation. Previous to June 2008, the price for transacting space in natural gas pipelines was set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC Order 712 allowed transactions under one year in duration, generally known as the secondary market, to transact at market prices. This regulatory innovation should facilitate natural gas power plants in procuring natural gas and lead to expanded generation. August 18, 2020.
Market failures and willingness-to-accept the smart energy transition: Experimental evidence from the UK 8/13/2020
MARKET FAILURES AND WILLINGNESS-TO-ACCEPT THE SMART ENERGY TRANSITION: EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE FROM THE UK
Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell and Daire McCoy have a new working paper that discusses why there is a need to facilitate the sustainable energy transition, and how governments and innovators are encouraging households to adopt smart technologies that allow for increased flexibility in energy grids. The UK’s ambitious smart metering policy has indisputably failed to achieve its objective of equipping all dwellings with smart meters. This research uses a novel experiment to elicit the willingness-to-accept of 2,400 nationally representative UK households for smart meter installation. August 13, 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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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.
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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.