Energy & Development

Supporting developing economies in establishing sustainable energy systems and reducing energy poverty around the globe

Supporting developing economies in establishing sustainable energy systems and reducing energy poverty around the globe

Accelerating a transition to a radically different, and inclusive, energy system is a generational challenge. The poorest three-quarters of the global population still use only about 10% of global energy. Giving power to the poor through effective energy and development is a key factor in ensuring vibrant economic development around the world.

Access to modern energy services has been called the “golden thread” of development. As nations develop, energy demand continually increases as does the need for further infrastructure.

The Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines and our partners are focusing on the interconnected impacts of energy development on markets, trade, security, geopolitics and environment in creating vibrant industrialized societies. We are together creating a home for global discussion on the issue of energy and development.

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

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.  

AGGREGATION AND ANALYSIS OF METHANE DATA IN THE DJ BASIN, COLORADO 5/5/2020

AGGREGATION AND ANALYSIS OF METHANE DATA IN THE DJ BASIN, COLORADO

Payne Institute Fellow Dorit Hammerling and Payne Research Associate William Daniels consider emissions data in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin. They focus on methane data from the TROPOMI instrument on board the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite. They have aggregated the data into a variety of temporal packets and performed an initial exploratory analysis. This review will help inform ongoing and future air pollution monitoring efforts. These efforts rely on data gathered from a wide array of monitoring techniques, including ground-level sensors, drones, and planes. Being able to better incorporate satellite data into these efforts will offer a more complete emissions profile, which can be used to inform both operations and regulations. May 5, 2020.

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.

ENERGY TRANSITION: COAL AS THE CANARY 4/23/2020

ENERGY TRANSITION: COAL AS THE CANARY

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a range of pressing economic challenges including unemployment, lost wages and volatile stock markets. Stalled economic activity has also temporarily reduced energy demand and pollution levels around the world. While the coronavirus creates acute, emergency needs for many households and communities, the kinds of social safety net measures that can cushion the impact in this current crisis have similarities to those needed for longer-term clean energy transitions. Recovery from this pandemic may offer opportunities to recover with a lower-carbon and more equitable economy.  April 23, 2020. 

OIL PRICES ARE NEGATIVE: WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND WHAT COMES NEXT 4/21/2020

OIL PRICES ARE NEGATIVE: WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND WHAT COMES NEXT

Payne Fellow Alex Gilbert writes that for the first time in history, the primary U.S. oil contract closed at a negative price, an astonishing -$37.63/barrel. This shocking price is a result of the collapse in oil demand due to response measures to the coronavirus pandemic in both the United States and globally. This specific time, negative prices were driven by an unusual circumstance due to an expiring futures contract. However, unless the oil demand situation changes quickly, the U.S. could face single digit or even negative oil prices throughout the summer. April 21, 2020.

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