NEW INITIATIVE TO TRACK GHG EMISSIONS IN MATERIALS SUPPLY CHAIN
The Payne Institute is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Rocky Mountain Institute, MIT Sustainable Supply Chains, and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. The Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency (COMET) aims to build a standard method for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in materials, “an important step in decarbonising mineral and industrial supply chains”, the partners said. January 22, 2020.
SUPPORTING ELECTRIFICATION POLICY IN FRAGILE STATES: A CONFLICT-ADJUSTED GEOSPACIAL LEAST COST APPROACH FOR AFGHANISTAN
Roughly two billion people live in areas that regularly suffer from conflict, violence, and instability. Infrastructure development in those areas is very difficult to implement and fund. As an example, electrification systems face major challenges such as ensuring the security of the workforce or reliability of power supply. This paper presents electrification results from an explorative methodology, where the costs and risks of conflict are explicitly considered in a geo-spatial, least cost electrification model. We also identify inflection points, quantify key decision parameters, and present policy recommendations for universal electrification of Afghanistan by 2030. January 21, 2020.
CRESTONE PEAK RESOURCES ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR REAL-TIME WELL SITE AIR QUALITY MONITORING
Crestone Peak Resources today announced an innovative partnership with the Payne Institute for Public Policy for a large-scale test of real-time continuous air quality monitoring at its oil and natural gas production sites in Colorado. Crestone is the first operator to commit to continuous emissions testing for a substantial majority of its production. January 16, 2020.
BIG DATA AND THE ELECTRICITY SECTOR IN AFRICAN COUNTRIES
A number of “disruptive” data science and sensor technologies are creating new opportunities for addressing global challenges. The emergence of abundant computing power made possible the generation and storage of “big data,” enabled the explosion of sensors and networked devices, and powered major breakthroughs in the application of Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning techniques. These developments have led to a new trend best described as the seamless interplay between the physical and the digital world—also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) (Deloitte, 2015). This has paved the way for potential radical transformation of whole sectors and industries across the globe. January 14, 2020.
HARNESSING HEAT: APPLYING MACHINE LEARNING TO GEOTHERMAL EXPLORATION
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Sebnem Duzgun’s work could help researchers identify the presence of geothermal resources based on surface and subsurface characteristics. January 13, 2020.
THE ROLE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN ACHIEVING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Payne Institute Fellow Francesco Fuso-Nerini writes on the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and its progressively wider impact on many sectors requires an assessment of its effect on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Using a consensus-based expert elicitation process, we find that AI can enable the accomplishment of 134 targets across all the goals, but it may also inhibit 59 targets. January 13, 2020.
ELECTROCHEMICAL CELL COULD SPLIT THE MOON’S FROZEN WATER INTO ROCKET FUEL
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Greg Jackson is collaborating with OxEon Energy on a $1.8 million NASA project that could bring interplanetary fuel stations one step closer to reality. 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.
THE WORLD’S NEXT ENERGY BONANZA
The Payne Institute Director co-authored an argument that tapping oceanic methane hydrates is the next big energy resource. The fracking of shale gas may have substantially shifted the global energy landscape, but another hydrocarbon resource—oceanic methane hydrates—has the possibility to do even more to change the picture, and upend the global energy landscape. January 9, 2020.
DIVIDING LINES APPEAR IN TRANSITION APPROACHES
The Payne Institute is referenced in this article regarding the Future of Oil and Gas. Differences have emerged between how IOCs and NOCs are tackling the energy transition—and the size of oil and gas reserves also has a big impact. January 7, 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.
SUSTAINABLE MINERALS AND METALS FOR A LOW-CARBON FUTURE
Climate change mitigation will create new natural resource and supply chain opportunities and dilemmas, because substantial amounts of raw materials will be required to build new low-carbon energy devices and infrastructure. The global low-carbon revolution could be at risk unless new international agreements and governance mechanisms are put in place to ensure a sustainable supply of rare minerals and metals, a new academic study has warned. January 3, 2020.
MINING’S HUMAN ELEMENTS: ANTHROPOLOGIST SEEKS TO BRIDGE DIVIDE BETWEEN INDUSTRY, SMALL-SCALE OPERATIONS
Assistant Professor Nicole Smith is the only social scientist in Mines’ Mining Engineering Department, but that’s par for the course for any anthropologist worth his or her salt. “I’ve always been interested in why people do what they do and how it differs across the world,” said Smith, who earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Minnesota. January 2, 2020.
ATYPICAL VARIABILITY IN TMY-BASED POWER SYSTEMS
This paper presents the results of an analysis that explores how Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) informed power system models perform when exposed to atypical variability. A simplified power system planning model is tested for two case studies in Guinea-Bissau and Turkey. A TMY proxy is compared against 24-year timeseries datasets containing hourly resolution solar PV and wind capacity factor data. December 16, 2019.
THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION – FULL ISSUE AVAILABLE NOW
The full open-access issue focused on The Geopolitics of the Energy Transition is live! Terrific contributions on the many different contours of the changing energy landscape. December 10, 2019.
PAYNE FACULTY FELLOW – LINDA BATTALORA NAMED FRYREAR CHAIR FOR INNOVATION AND EXCELLENCE
Mines alumnus Ben Fryrear ’62 endowed the chairship in 2017 to recognize and support highly accomplished faculty members driving institutional change. Payne Faculty Fellow Linda Battalora, teaching professor of petroleum engineering, has been awarded a Ben L. Fryrear Endowed Chair for Innovation and Excellence to lead efforts to increase alumni engagement on campus. December 10, 2019.
THE GREEN TRANSITION: WHO WILL BE THE GEOPOLITICAL WINNERS – AND LOSERS?
Beyond any doubt, the green transition will have consequences for geopolitics – international power relations and competition influenced by geography. But who stands to gain, or lose, the most – geopolitically speaking? December 2, 2019.
MINING PLASTIC: HARVESTING STORED ENERGY IN A RE-USE REVOLUTION
To spur action, the perception of discarded plastics must change from burdensome waste to a physical store of non-renewable resources. Major investment in developing catalysts, processes, and infrastructure for energetically efficient chemical recycling is critical. It is time for governments to commit to “mining” plastics. December 2, 2019.
THE DOWNSIDE OF SOLAR ENERGY
As renewable energy expands, used photovoltaic panels are creating a growing waste problem—but recycling could be the answer. December 1, 2019.
THE SHIFTING ENERGY LANDSCAPE AND THE GULF ECONOMIES’ DIVERSIFICATION CHALLENGE
Payne Fellow Samantha Gross writes about the hydrocarbon-dependent countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) face challenges in adjusting to the new reality in energy markets. Growing oil and gas production in the United States and growing concern about climate change mean that their hydrocarbon revenues are likely to decline over the long run. At the same time, growing populations and a rentier social contract make declining revenues a challenge for governance and stability. December 2019.
NEW OIL FINDS COULD MEAN A TRIPLING OF GUYANA’S GDP
This year, ExxonMobil announced its 11th and 12th oil finds in the small South American country of Guyana. The estimates of recoverable crude in the country now stand at roughly 5 billion barrels. On a per capita basis, this would put Guyana among the top 10 oil producers in the world. Whether the people of Guyana see much benefit from the windfall could have much to say about the fate of the oil industry, which is facing an uncertain future during an ongoing energy transition. November 26, 2019.
PAYNE INSTITUTE PARTNERS WITH THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL GLOBAL ENERGY CENTER TO LAUNCH THE VETERANS ADVANCED ENERGY PROJECT
The Payne Institute is proud to partner with the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center in a new initiative to incubate a new generation of veterans to lead the advanced energy economy. November 22, 2019.
NEW COALITION IN GULF MAY NOT FARE AS WELL AS OLD
Representatives from Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Albania and the United States opened a command center in Bahrain November 7, launching Operation Sentinel, a security initiative for protecting the Strait of Hormuz. The operation is a response to recent attacks on ships in the strait and Saudi facilities. Vessels watch chokepoints and maintain patrols in the strait that is 21 nautical miles wide and territorial waters for Iran and Oman, within their regulatory control under international law. “While such security coalitions have been successful in the past, applying the same approach in the Middle East may not improve conditions and may even exacerbate tensions,” explain Gregory Clough and Morgan D. Bazilian. November 21, 2019.
35 MINERALS THAT ARE CRITICAL TO OUR SOCIETY
Just like essential nutrients are necessary for a healthy body, critical minerals are necessary for a healthy economy. And a healthy national security. And a healthy educational system. Basically all aspects of an overall healthy society in these modern times. The United States Geological Survey Report on a Critical Mineral List discusses 35 mineral commodities that we are dependent on. November 19, 2019.
The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group at Colorado School of Mines has been honored with the 2019 Galileo Award from the International Dark-Sky Association. November 19, 2019.
ANDREW SPIELMAN AND MORGAN BAZILIAN NAMED IN WHO’S WHO IN ENERGY 2019
Andrew Spielman and Morgan Bazilian were honored by the Denver Business Journal in their 2019 Who’s Who in Energy. Denver Business Journal honors them as movers and shakers in metro Denver’s fast-moving energy industry. November 8, 2019.
Saudi Aramco said on Wednesday it was joining the World Bank’s initiative to reduce gas flaring to zero by 2030. The Payne Institute’s Earth Observation Group is proud to provide the flaring data that underlies this important initiative. November 6, 2019.
In this paper, we assess committed CO2 emissions from existing and planned power plants in LAC. Those are the carbon emissions that would result from the operation of fossil-fueled power plants during their typical lifetime. November 5, 2019.
Committed emissions and the risk of stranded assets from power plants in Latin America and the Caribbean
Las emisiones comprometidas y el riesgo de activos abandonados en el sector eléctrico de América Latina y el Caribe
Please join the Payne Institute for Perspectives on the Future of Oil and Gas with discussions from Wim Thomas, Eirik Wærness, and Michael Cohen – Scenarios: What is the Future of Energy, and Andreas Goldthau, Amy M. Jaffe and Sarah Ladislaw – Implications for Geopolitics & Industry in the Ben H. Parker Student Center Grand Ballroom at Colorado School of Mines (Agenda). November 5, 2019.
Payne Institute presentation
John Bradford presentation
Michael Cohen presentation
Andreas Goldthau presentation
Wim Thomas presentation
Eirik Wærness presentation
Please join in the Critical Minerals dialogue with Payne Director Morgan Bazilian on the Our Energy Policy.org website. If the future of the critical minerals market is not addressed with effective policy and innovation it could negatively impact the economic and national security of the United States. November 4, 2019.
This opinion article offers insights into the geopolitics of the ongoing global energy transition. In doing so, it draws heavily on a workshop in Berlin in late 2018, and a subsequent paper in the journal Nature. Four scenarios are presented. By comparing and contrasting the different scenarios, the article highlights the potential winners and losers of the different scenarios, and the geopolitical consequences. It also sketches the implications for policy, theory, and scenario thinking more broadly. November 3, 2019.
Navigating the energy transition is a tricky business. On the one hand, the transformation of the global energy sector into a lower-carbon one appears likely in the future, as the need to combat climate change has stirred politicians and the public alike and the markets for low-carbon energy technologies have continued to grow. On the other hand, despite the growth of the clean-energy markets, the level of greenhouse gas emission has continued to rise. Global oil demand has also continued to rise, and has now reached over 100 million barrels per day. November 1, 2019.
MORGAN BAZILIAN EDITS THE ENERGY STRATEGY REVIEWS SPECIAL ISSUE TITLED THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION
Payne Institute’s Director Morgan Bazilian was honored to edit the Energy Strategy Reviews new special issue titled “The Geopolitics of the Energy Transition.” November 2019.
MORGAN BAZILIAN’S PREFACE TO THE ENERGY STRATEGY REVIEWS SPECIAL ISSUE ON THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION
The global energy landscape is changing dramatically. High levels of uncertainty inherent in the system, as well as the enormous impacts energy has on development, security, the environment, the economy, and geopolitics, all provide the impetus for this Special Issue of Energy Strategy Reviews. November 2019.
It’s hard to imagine Aramco not wanting to turn back time to an easier period when getting an IPO to market seemed feasible. This week’s announcement seems like a soft launch for what was supposed to be the largest and most anticipated IPO in history, dwarfing Apple and Amazon. October 31, 2019.
This report is an outcome from the Payne Institute/Columbia|SIPA/Resources for the Future event held earlier this year. The report analyzes the impact of “large, rapid, and unpredictable changes in local economic conditions” due to changes in the oil industry and offers guidance for how the federal government could support these communities. October 30, 2019.
The risk of wildfires in California prompted what may be the largest deliberate power cut in U.S. history. The growing frequency of such precautions could incentivize residential and commercial customers to turn to on-site power generation. Such a shift could mean a boon for solar energy systems, but also a comeback for gas-powered generators in areas bearing the brunt of extreme dry weather exacerbated by climate change. October 29, 2019.
Payne Fellows argue that due to aerospace innovations like usable rocketry and growing international space participation, the global space sector is on the verge of a renaissance. Proposed NewSpace activities, like space tourism, space mining, or orbital manufacturing, seem to come straight from science fiction but could now arrive within a decade. However, the space technology with the biggest potential may be one that benefits all of humanity: production of solar power in outer space for use on Earth. October 21, 2019.
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.
This article presents the GeGaLo index of geopolitical gains and losses that 156 countries may experience after a full-scale transition to renewable energy. The following indicators are considered for inclusion in the index: fossil fuel production, fossil fuel reserves, renewable energy resources, governance, and conflict. October 15, 2019.
The Payne Institute is pleased to welcome Liam Denning as our first Journalistic Fellow. Liam has been writing about or working with the energy sector for almost 20 years. We are excited to have him as part of the Payne Institute family given his superb energy journalism. October 9, 2019.
Payne Faculty Fellows Nicole Smith (Principal Investigator) Sebnem Duzgun (Co-Principal Investigator), Tulay Flamand (Co-Principal Investigator), and Payne Staff Member Greg Clough (Senior Research Personnel) received a National Science Foundation award for their research. October 2, 2019.
The Payne Institute’s Earth Observation Group researcher Hsu (David) Feng Chi reports on cross-matching of vessel tracking data and satellite data sheds light on ‘dark vessels’ that may be fishing illegally. October 2019.
Payne Scholar Jusse Hirwa travels to Rwanda and reports on Saving Lives and Generating Energy from Natural Gas in Rwanda’s Lake Kivu. There are two problems, and one solution: an eruption can be prevented by extracting the gas, discarding the CO2, and using the methane gas — thus, turning a potential disaster into a tangible benefit. September 30, 2019.
THE PAYNE INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC POLICY’S EARTH OBSERVATION GROUP WINS DARK-SKY ASSOCIATION 2019 GALILEO AWARD
The Galileo Award is presented to Chris Elvidge and Kimberly Baugh of the Earth Observation Group (Colorado School of Mines, U.S.A.)
This award is given in recognition of outstanding achievements in research or academic work on light pollution over a multiple-year period. For over two decades, Chris Elvidge and Kimberly Baugh have been producing satellite images of Earth at Night, together with colleagues at the Payne Institute’s Earth Observation Group (formerly at NOAA). Their work was a critical component of many scientific analyses, including the “The World Atlas of the Artificial Night Sky Brightness” skyglow maps. The “night lights of Earth” are instantly recognizable, and all such images can be traced back to their work. September 30, 2019.
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
Through a new interdisciplinary graduate program, CO School of Mines and NREL prepare researchers at the doctoral level and professionals at the master’s level to address the full complexity of tomorrow’s energy challenges. Hear from a current PhD student and apply for the Fall 2020 cohort. September 29, 2019.
In this paper, we explore the evolving relationship between energy issues and defense planning, and show how these developments have implications for military tactics and strategy as well as for civilian energy policy. September 28, 2019.
Payne Institute for Public Policy at CO School of Mines, in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University and Rice University, are pleased to host the University Energy Institute Leadership Summit in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. The purpose of this workshop is to explore the synergistic opportunities that are possible with the organization of a national consortium. Both the research and operational leadership at each institute will discuss the role of an organizational framework to advance research and education, funding pursuits, decarbonization strategies, public policy and advocacy, innovation, and partnerships. September 25-26, 2019.
The authors analyzed over 973,443 smart grid-related posts from 1st September 2018 to 31st August 2019. They then identified the top 100 most influential individuals leading the discussion on social media. September 24, 2019.
PAYNE INSTITUTE FELLOW ALEX GILBERT WINS THE 2019 SPACE GENERATION ADVISORY COUNCIL SSS ESSAY CONTEST
The Payne Institute congratulates Fellow Alex Gilbert for winning the 2019 Space Generation Advisory Council Essay Competition with his essay titled “Best Practice Environmental Impact Assessments Guide Safe, Sustainable Space Development.” September 22, 2019.
College Factual released its annual list of the nation’s top engineering schools this week, with Colorado School of Mines taking the top spot on a list of the “Best Engineering Colleges Nationwide.” College Factual rankings prioritize positive student outcomes like low student loan default rates, high graduation rates, and high graduate salaries. September 19, 2019.
Payne Institute partners with NREL for the Open Energy Modeling North America Workshop. Open Energy Modeling (Open-Mod) workshop to discuss how to further the use of open data and open software tools in the energy modeling community. September 18-19, 2019.
MORGAN BAZILIAN CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY ON THE MINERAL AND METAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION
Dr. Morgan Bazilian giving a congressional testimony to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate regarding the “Mineral and Metal Foundations of the Energy Transition.” Morgan Bazilian Testimony | Full Senate Hearing | Read Full Testimony. September 17, 2019.
The proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to roll back regulations on methane emissions not only poses environmental risks, but also jeopardizes new leak-detection technologies that could create high-paying jobs nationwide. September 13, 2019.
For several decades, energy security has been defined and pursued in a multilateral world with relatively open markets and technology transfer, where energy relations have become increasingly commodified. But that world may soon disappear—energy relationships might become more political, open trade might give way to friction, and great powers might leverage energy relations or energy technology to gain an edge over each other. September 13, 2019.
We use the shale gas boom to illuminate the more universal challenges that energy forecasters face—and the solutions they employ—in managing and explaining two significant types of uncertainty: epistemic (unknown unknowns) and stochastic (known unknowns). September 5, 2019.
The deepest parts of the world’s ocean feature ecosystems found nowhere else on Earth. They provide habitat for multitudes of species, many yet to be named. These vast, lightless regions also possess deposits of valuable minerals in rich concentrations. Deep-sea extraction technologies may soon develop to the point where exploration of seabed minerals can give way to active exploitation. August 30, 2019.
This paper outlines a vision for advancing a research and development (R&D) agenda to thoroughly examine the characteristics and relationships among urbanization, electrification, and cities, including the imperative of shifting renewable sources for electricity. It uses a systems approach to trace current knowledge and identifies knowledge gaps on diverse and not yet connected elements of this emerging field, while calling for a more active collaboration among engineering, and physical and social sciences in the development of an integrated R&D agenda. August 22, 2019.
The energy transition is underway. While this transition is occurring across many dimensions of the energy value chain having a dynamic impact on consumers and producers alike, it is often simply described as a move to a cleaner, low- or zero-carbon system. The contours of the pathway remain unclear, but certain aspects are already visible. The dramatic rise in solar and wind power generation in electricity systems and the rise of electric vehicles are occurring in multiple economies across the globe as is an increased focus on energy efficiency. August 21, 2019.
Colorado School of Mines was ranked 23rd among public colleges in the United States and 20th in the West in the 2019 list of America’s top universities by Forbes.August 20, 2019.
A series of attacks and detentions for oil cargo ships this year have made the Strait of Hormuz a geopolitical hotspot once again, harkening back 35 years to the so-called “tanker wars,” part of the Iran-Iraq War. And while Hormuz’s role as the world’s primary most important oil transit route has not changed, much else about the energy security landscape has – especially growth in liquefied natural gas markets. The concerns around disruptions to oil markets are now salient for natural gas markets as well. August 20, 2019.
RISKS GROW AS COUNTRIES SHARE ELECTRICITY ACROSS BORDERS
The world needs the efficiency of shared energy grids, so it also needs a way to prevent them from being used for coercion. August 20, 2019.
Increasing the interconnection of electricity systems both within and between countries has much promise to help support clean energy power systems of the future. If the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing in one place, an electricity grid with high voltage transmission lines can move electricity to where it is needed. This shared infrastructure and increased trade can possibly serve as a basis for peace between neighbors in conflict, but it may also serve as a tool of coercion if the electricity can be cut off by one party. August 20, 2019.
Important work by Payne Institute Expert Kartikeya. India’s general election is over, and the newly reelected Modi administration has a slew of reforms that are ripe for implementing to shore up India’s teetering power sector. In the first term of the Modi administration, the government focused on providing electricity connections to all houses, aiming to deploy 175 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity (mainly from solar and wind) by 2022 and to enact the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana, also known as UDAY, a reform meant to improve the technical and financial performance of the cash-strapped state-owned utilities (discoms). August 19, 2019.
Payne Institute Expert Constantine Samaras writes a piece on new research that finds that global inefficiencies in power transmission and distribution infrastructure result in nearly a gigatonne of CO2-equivalent annually. Countries can use this overlooked mitigation opportunity in their transition to a clean power sector. August 12, 2019.
Payne Institute Faculty Expert Sebnem Duzgun, professor and Fred Banfield Distinguished Endowed Chair of Mining Engineering at Colorado School of Mines, has been awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to apply new machine learning techniques to geothermal exploration. Duzgun will receive $500,000 over 18 months for her project, which was one of 10 nationwide recently selected for DOE funding. August 8, 2019.
Pueblo, Colorado is undergoing a major transformation towards becoming a clean energy hub, with lessons for the whole country. We consider the evolution of the city’s relationship with energy and manufacturing, and conclude with some lessons learned about partnership, government engagement, utility collaboration, and energy transition leadership. August 1, 2019.
THE ENERGY TRANSITIONS INDEX: AN ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE EVOLVING GLOBAL ENERGY SYSTEM
In this commentary, we discuss the purpose of energy indices in general and document several prominent examples. We then introduce and place in this landscape the World Economic Forum’s Energy Transitions Index (ETI). July 30, 2019.
THE UNITED STATES’ GAS FLARE-UP: WHY AN ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEM THAT WAS ON THE DECLINE IS BACK WITH A VENGEANCE
When companies drill for oil, the process can also release natural gas (primarily composed of methane) as a byproduct, called associated gas. For safety reasons and to release pressure in the system, the associated gas needs to be removed. Typically, this has been done by venting (releasing) or flaring (burning) the gas. Of the two, flaring is preferable, since it converts methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas to carbon dioxide, a less powerful one. But natural gas flares are still wasteful and environmentally harmful. July 28, 2019.
Payne Institute Earth Observation Group article on light pollution. Light Pollution is a worldwide problem that has a range of adverse effects on human health and natural ecosystems. Using data from the New World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness, VIIRS-recorded radiance and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data, we compared light pollution levels, and the light flux to the population size and GDP at the State and County levels in the USA and at Regional (NUTS2) and Province (NUTS3) levels in Europe. July 27, 2019.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently announced a road map for the state to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. In this podcast, Will Toor will talk about these clean energy efforts and others, including work to get more electric vehicles on the road and to reduce emissions from various sectors. July 22, 2019.
As populations grow concurrently with changing climates, expanding economies and urbanization, competition for food, energy, and water resources increases. The intersection of these areas, sometimes referred to as the food-energy-water nexus, poses significant challenges. July 17, 2019.
What strategies and investments these companies have made and what roles they have taken in response to the potential challenges of a likely transition to a low-carbon world? July 16, 2019.
Payne Institute Research Scholar Lucas S. Furtado authors an article on how the fiscal regime dictates the risk-reward partition between companies and the government in a portfolio of prospects. July 16, 2019.
Payne Institute Expert Francesco FusoNerini writes an article, while climate change is likely to hinder progress towards nearly all SDGs, well-planned climate mitigation and adaptation could help unlock the large majority of the SDGs targets. But to do so, climate action needs to be harmonized with other sustainable development policy. July 15, 2019.
Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian on the Energy Transition Show discussing Metals Supply in Energy Transition. Is the supply of certain key metals—like lithium, copper, nickel, and cobalt—and “rare earth” metals—like vanadium and indium—potentially a limiter on the progress of energy transition? July 10, 2019.
A REVIEW OF CLOSE-RANGE AND SCREENING TECHNOLOGIES FOR MITIGATING FUGITIVE METHANE EMISSIONS IN UPSTREAM OIL AND GAS
Fugitive methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are targeted using leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs. Until recently, only a limited number of measurement standards have been permitted by most regulators, with emphasis on close-range methods (e.g. Method-21, optical gas imaging). Although close-range methods are essential for source identification, they can be labor-intensive. June 26, 2019.
$3.8 Million Grant from The Rockefeller Foundation Will Enable Top Researchers at Four Leading Universities – including Colorado School of Mines – to Use Enhanced Data Modeling to Transform Electricity Systems in Emerging Economies. June 18, 2019.
Students in the new Advanced Energy Systems graduate program at Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will have access to summer research opportunities, student-run seminars from global energy experts and more, thanks to a $600,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. June 17, 2019.
Newly released estimates from satellite data show global gas flaring increased by 3% in 2018 to 145 billion cubic meters (bcm), which is equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Central and South America. June 12, 2019.
The U.S. needs to widen its consideration of critical materials past a limited understanding of security in a deeply interconnected world in Scientific American by Payne Institute Director Morgan Brazilian. June 10, 2019.
Payne Institute initiative on the Future of Oil and Gas partnered with Natural Resource Governance Institute on an essay on the role of National Oil Companies in the energy transition in Foreign Policy. The United States may be a growing force in energy markets, but national oil companies still reign supreme. June 5, 2019.
This paper presents estimates of short run impacts of a carbon price on the electricity industry using a cost-minimizing mathematical model of the U.S. market. Prices of $25 and $50 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions cause electricity emissions reductions of 17% and 22% from present levels, respectively. June 5, 2019.
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.
This article rigorously analyzes the case of Colorado, one of the most active programs in the US within the most regimented water right systems. Despite relatively few acquisitions, the junior ISF appropriations have protected numerous miles of streams by 1) deflecting future diversionary rights, 2) requiring protection of any upstream transfers, and 3) reducing upstream withdrawals from existing diversion rights despite ISF’s junior status. May 17, 2019.
Sub-Saharan African countries urgently need more electricity services to foster economic growth and job creation. While plugging the energy gap is not sufficient to address all the region’s economic woes, it is a fundamental building block to the wider aspirations of these societies. Still, reforming power sector regulations and governance across the region continues to be fraught with problems. May 17, 2019.
Many of the fishing vessels operating in Indonesia’s waters at night do so undetected, masking what could be illegal fishing on a massive scale, according to a new study. May 17, 2019.
Global Fishing Watch’s new night light vessel detection layer uses satellite imagery from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to reveal the location and activity of brightly lit vessels operating at night. Because the vessels are detected solely based on light emission, we can detect individual vessels and even entire fishing fleets that are not broadcasting AIS and so are not represented in the AIS-based fishing activity layer. May 11, 2019.
THESE ARE THE 4 MOST LIKELY SCENARIOS FOR THE FUTURE OF ENERGY
The pressures on the global energy system are unprecedented. Demand is being fuelled by a growing population and economic growth, but powering the world still depends on fossil fuels, and creates two-thirds of global emissions. Emissions resulting from human activity will need to be at net zero by 2050 to limit global warming, according to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. But last year, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose to the highest level ever. Added to this is a shifting geopolitical landscape, which has seen the transition to an inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure energy system slow down. May 9, 2019.
Winds of change continue to blow across the global energy landscape as firms, the general public, and policymakers shift strategic directions to address goals of environmental sustainability that also recognize economic priorities. May 8, 2019.
HOW THE ENERGY TRANSITION WILL RESHAPE GEOPOLITICS
Paths to a low-carbon economy will create rivalries, winners, and losers. May 2, 2019.
We present here four geopolitical scenarios to illustrate how varied the transition could be by 2030 (see ‘Four futures’). To minimize conflict and maximize equity, states’ policy choices over the next decade will be crucial. Researchers and decision-makers should widen their focus to examine the implications of such alternative pathways to decarbonization — issues that go well beyond technology. Smoothing the road will take multilateral agreements, generous funding and cooperation. May 1, 2019.
Morgan Bazilian attends private event at the Atlantic Council Headquarters to lead a private lunch roundtable on the trade and security implications of the rising demand for critical minerals.
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.
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.
INTERNET OF THINGS: ENERGY BOON OR BANE?
Since the dawn of the internet, a digital revolution has transformed life for millions of people. Digital files have replaced paper, email has replaced letters, and cell phones provide access to many services that facilitate daily life. This digital revolution is not over, and there is now a growing deployment of technologies grouped under the term “Internet of Things” (IoT)—a worldwide network of interconnected objects that are uniquely addressable via standard communication protocols. April 29, 2019.
When U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey released the text of the Green New Deal in February 2019, they were paying homage to the policies that lifted the United States out of the Great Depression. The resolution tied action on climate change to a wider set of social objectives, including creating jobs in renewables and other clean technologies, targeting the country’s vast need for improved infrastructure, and addressing issues as varied as sources of income and health care inequality. This essay focuses on what is missing—an international dimension. April 29, 2019.
The World Bank has a new program for financing the advanced battery storage systems essential for making wind and solar power work. April 25, 2019.
Chris Elvidge hosts meeting with members of Rocky Mountain Institute and Mark Davis & Alessandra Kortenhorst from CH4STOP to discuss natural gas flaring and combatting the issue. April 23, 2019.
In what only recently would have seemed like science fiction, Colorado has positioned itself to become a leader in the space resources sector. But what are the challenges and potential impacts of such a move? April 16, 2019.
PAYNE INSTITUTE, KAPSARC HOST ROUNDTABLE ON ENERGY MARKETS
The Payne Institute for Public Policy at Colorado School of Mines in collaboration with the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) recently brought together global experts to discuss analytical approaches to blending political science with the study of energy markets. April 16, 2019.
SENSITIVE INTERVENTION POINTS IN THE POST-CARBON TRANSITION
We propose to examine how to exploit similar sensitive intervention points (SIPs) and amplification mechanisms in socioeconomic, technological, and political systems to advance climate change mitigation. We focus on research and policies in which an intervention kicks or shifts the system so that the initial change is amplified by feedback effects that deliver outsized impact. April 12, 2019.
NEW PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPING BETWEEN PAYNE INSTITUTE AND KAPSARC – BEGINNING WITH PRIVATE WORKSHOP EVENT HOSTED BY KAPSARC AT COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES
“We are thrilled to begin what I hope will be a longstanding and productive partnership with KAPSARC. The topics covered at today’s event, including international relations, the energy transition, and energy markets, should serve as a strong foundation for further collaborative research.” – Payne Institute Executive Director Morgan Bazilian. April 9, 2019.
GRAD STUDENT CONTRIBUTES TO WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM INDEX
A Colorado School of Mines graduate student got an unique inside look at the World Economic Forum as a member of the team that produced the global organization’s 2019 report on the energy transition. Steve Dahlke, a PhD candidate in the Mineral and Energy Economics program and a Payne Institute Research Fellow, was among the core team that produced “Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2019,” which summarizes insights from WEF’s annual Energy Transition Index. April 3, 2019.
SHELL JUST SENT LOBBYISTS A MESSAGE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Payne Fellow Liam Denning reports that the Royal Dutch Shell Plc just fired a shot across the bow of oil lobbyists. More of a slingshot than a cannon, but significant nonetheless. April 2, 2019.
Payne Institute Executive Director Morgan Bazilian participated in the symposium as chair for the International Energy Transitions discussion session. April 1-2, 2019.
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.
CROSS-SCALE WATER AND LAND IMPACTS OF LOCAL CLIMATE AND ENERGY POLICY – A LOCAL SWEDISH ANALYSIS OF SELECTED SDG INTERACTIONS
This paper analyses how local energy and climate actions can affect the use of water and land resources locally, nationally and globally. Each of these resource systems is linked to different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); we also explore related SDG interactions. March 27, 2019.
HOW DO WE DESIGN AN INCLUSIVE ENERGY TRANSITION?
The need to accelerate the global energy transition is urgent, as highlighted by the World Economic Forum’s Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2019 report. It summarizes findings from the 2019 Energy Transition Index (ETI), now in its eighth year. March 25, 2019.
Novel approaches are necessary to accelerate the provision of reliable electric power in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Existing approaches to planning power system investment tend to ignore conflict-related risk and its serious consequences. Here, we propose a framework for identifying power system investment strategies in fragile and conflict-affected countries, and apply it to South Sudan. Our results show that investment strategies that explicitly consider the challenges posed by potential conflict may improve the reliability of electricity service over the status-quo approach. Our analysis suggests investing in a diverse mix of supply types in the medium term, and building a power system with redundancies or a higher share of local resources in the long term, to reduce vulnerability to conflict and socio-political fragility. March 18, 2019.
Senior Vice President and Chief Economist in Equinor to speak on the Energy Perspectives in 2018 – Equinor’s strategy and geopolitics on the global energy transition. March 18, 2019.
MORGAN BAZILIAN SPEAKS ABOUT THE CHANGING GEOPOLITICAL LANDSCAPE FOR MINERALS AND METALS IN THE ENERGY TRANSITION
Morgan D. Bazilian speaks about emerging changes in demand and trade patterns for the mineral and metal inputs into core technologies of the energy transformation, such as batteries and solar PV. These changes will have impacts on technology development, markets, security, and geopolitics at the Innovation Agora during Ceraweek by IHS Markit. March 11-15, 2019.
DEBATING THE FUTURE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN OIL COUNTRY
Major oil companies are boosting their investments in EV charging tech. The trajectory of EVs will also influence global oil demand growth (although they’re just one of many factors like growth in petrochemicals, shipping, and aviation). March 13, 2019.
Morgan Bazilian, executive director of the Payne Institute, was featured in a Houston Chronicle article about no transparent mineral trading sites like there are for petroleum products. March 13, 2019.
BLACKOUT IN SYRIA
Payne Institute Earth Observation Group reports on the Blackout in Syria. At night, the NASA/NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) collects visible wavelength low-light imaging data in a Day / Night Band (DNB). The DNB is designed for cloud imaging using moonlight (instead of sunlight) as the illumination source. The DNB also detects electric lighting and features like gas flares. The Earth Observation Group (EOG) generates monthly global cloud-free averages of the DNB radiance. March 7, 2019.
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.
ENERGY 360° – THE GEOPOLITICS OF ENERGY TRANSFORMATION PODCAST
Eirik Wærness (SVP and Chief Economist, Equinor), Morgan Bazilian (Director, Payne Institute, Colorado School of Mines), and Sarah Ladislaw (SVP and Director, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS) discuss the findings of IRENA’s recent report, A New World: The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation. Join them as they explore how higher shares of renewable energy in the global energy mix will shift the geopolitical map and cause fundamental structural changes in society. February 25, 2019.
THE GROWING PAINS ALBERTA FACES AS IT SHEDS ITS BOOM-AND-BUST PAST
Here in Calgary, in particular, we have come to accept that economic roller-coaster. But this time, somehow, the wild ride feels different. And it’s not just the sense you get from people swapping anecdotes in coffee shops and bars. It’s different decisions being made by individuals, institutions, government and industry. Those involved in the energy business, especially, are making changes based on the expectation of new realities. February 21, 2019.
NEW SPACE MINING POLICY NEEDED, SAYS COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES
At Colorado School of Mines in the US, home to the world’s first graduate programme in space resources and the Payne Institute for Public Policy, a group of researchers are calling for policies to be developed now to ensure the advancement of the burgeoning industry. February 21, 2019.
NEW POLICY NEEDED TO ADVANCE SPACE RESOURCES INDUSTRY
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) collects low light imaging data at night in five spectral bands. The best known of these is the day/night band (DNB) which uses light intensification for imaging of moonlit clouds in the visible and near-infrared (VNIR). The other four low light imaging bands are in the NIR and short-wave infrared (SWIR), designed for daytime imaging, which continue to collect data at night. VIIRS nightfire (VNF) tests each nighttime pixel for the presence of sub-pixel IR emitters across six spectral bands with two bands each in three spectral ranges: NIR, SWIR, and MWIR. In pixels with detection in two or more bands, Planck curve fitting leads to the calculation of temperature, source area, and radiant heat using physical laws. An analysis of January 2018 global VNF found that inclusion of the NIR and SWIR channels results in a doubling of the VNF pixels with temperature fits over the detection numbers involving the MWIR. The addition of the short wavelength channels extends detection limits to smaller source areas across a broad range of temperatures. February 15, 2019.
PAYNE INSTITUTE TO ESTABLISH EARTH OBSERVATION GROUP
The Payne Institute for Public Policy at Colorado School of Mines is establishing a new research group dedicated to the development of data products that use satellite imaging to provide valuable insights on gas flaring and volcanic activity, illegal fishing, power outages and electrification, geomagnetism and more. February 12, 2019.
In this paper, we focus on oil and gas producer subsidies of OECD countries and their effects; and to categorize the upstream models we have found, compare their main features, as well as recommending best in class models for analyzing the effects of each type of upstream producer subsidy. February 11, 2019.
Climate change threatens all industries with storms, wildfires, droughts, heat waves and rising seas, and the energy industry has no special standing. “Together, these risks can lead to power outages, increased electricity prices and increased maintenance, and capital costs – along with damaging economic, environmental, and public health consequences,” explain Debabrata Chattopadhyay, Morgan Bazilian and Mohar Chattopadhyay. “Growing evidence now suggests the entire energy supply chain, particularly power generation transmission and distribution, is vulnerable to climate change and disaster events. February 5, 2019.
This paper explores electricity planning strategies in South Sudan under future conflict uncertainty. A stochastic energy system optimization model that explicitly considers the possibility of armed conflict leading to electric power generator damage is presented. February 3, 2019.
To meet climate goals, enormous changes to the world’s energy systems are required. The impacts will no doubt be significant for fossil fuels ranging from coal, to oil, to natural gas. With regard to natural gas, various regional and national pipeline systems represent important and large infrastructures with long life spans. February 1, 2019.
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.
This paper explores the technical and economic characteristics of an accelerated energy transition to 2050, using new datasets for renewable energy. The analysis indicates that energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are the core elements of that transition, and their synergies are likewise important. Favourable economics, ubiquitous resources, scalable technology, and significant socio-economic benefits underpin such a transition. January 31, 2019.
Leading thinkers and practitioners in the disciplines of oil and gas volatility gather to consider the affects volatile energy prices have had on the Rocky Mountain region, including those on local and state governments. January 18, 2019.
STRENGTHENING THE EU RESPONSE TO ENERGY POVERTY
Energy poverty in the European Union poses a distinct challenge across member states and requires tailored, targeted action. EU policymakers need to strengthen the response to energy poverty and engender action across member states, moving beyond the focus on vulnerable consumers in energy markets. January 14, 2019.
A NEW WORLD: THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE ENERGY TRANSFORMATION REPORT RELEASED LEARNING
The Payne Institute is honored to have supported the great work of the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation. January 11, 2019.
This paper examines whether firm learning economies lead to reduced environmental incidents in Bakken unconventional oil drilling. We model the relationship between environmental safety and learning in preventing environmental incidents. We do not find evidence that firm or interfirm learning leads to increased environmental safety. We do find evidence that idiosyncratic quality of matches between firms and subcontractors is associated with improved environmental safety. January 9, 2019.
Dr. H. Sebnem Duzgan and colleagues receive second place in the Labor Category at the Data for Refugees (D4R) competition for their piece on the Syrian refugee crisis. January 2019.
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.
Space is viewed as a frontier of economic opportunity as scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs invest their ingenuity and wealth to bring the vastness of space within human grasp. Accessing space resources is increasingly important as the world confronts the finite nature of resources and the increasing environmental and social costs to develop them. Winter 2019.
BANK ON THE BANKS
Multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank, have been encouraging countries to invest more in green-energy technologies. Analysis of project data suggests their own renewable energy portfolios have also grown in step. December 31, 2018.
Payne Institute Executive Director Morgan Bazilian discussing mineral and metal foundations of the energy transition. December 11, 2018.
QATAR WILL LEAVE OPEC – HERE’S WHAT THIS MEANS
Payne Institute Fellow Jeff D. Cogan reports on Is OPEC dead or alive? Oil markets watched closely this week as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries worked with Russia to try to cut back production, which suggests the group still has some vitality. But earlier in the week, longtime member Qatar decided to quit OPEC. It’s the surprise move by Qatar that is a better indicator of the group’s situation. Here’s what these developments mean for OPEC — and the rest of the world. December 6, 2018.
GLOBAL WARMING WILL HAPPEN FASTER THAN WE THINK
Payne Institute Advisory Board member David G. Victor writes about the three trends will combine to hasten Global Warming. December 5, 2018.
ENERGY ACCESS METRICS IN THE WORLD BANK’S RISE DATA
The World Bank’s Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) is a set of indicators intended “to help compare national policy and regulatory frameworks for sustainable energy.” The RISE indicators for 2017 offer a full suite of reports and data for 111 countries. The energy access section contains 8 indicators (see Table) with 29 sub-indicators, based on 59 questions. They can be roughly categorized as (a) planning, (b) regulations for system types, and (c) economics and finance. Each indicator, scored between 0 and 100 and stop light colored, measures how far a country is from offering an attractive policy environment. December 3, 2018.
The Payne Institute is honored to join the Global Resilience Institute’s Research Network exploring research and partnerships for exploring the complex array of security and resilience challenges. GRRN is made up of members from around the world that share similar interests in interdisciplinary and applied resilience research. November 15, 2018.
Transformational New Graduate Program focused on Advanced Energy Systems launched between Mines and NREL. November 14, 2018.
This study focuses on the technical assessment of small-scale hydropower (0.01–10 MW) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The underlying methodology was based on open source geospatial datasets, whose combination allowed a consistent evaluation of 712,615 km of river network spanning over 44 countries. November 9, 2018.
Passing of 112 could set off a chain of tax and expenditure policy discussions rife with political sentiment, not to mention the employment impacts state-wide. October 30, 2018.
COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES AND PAYNE INSTITUTE HOST PETROLEUM RESEARCH SCHOOL OF NORWAY WORKSHOP ON “WHOLE VALUE CHAIN CARBON CAPTURE, UTILIZATION AND STORAGE (CCUS)
Executive Director of Payne Institute Morgan D. Bazilian will speak on CCUS policy. October 15-19, 2018.
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). October 9, 2018.
Renewable energy technologies promise to help our world avert some of the worst impacts of climate change. However, some of the minerals and metals they require could contribute to conflict. October 8, 2018.
Payne Institute Executive Director Morgan D. Bazilian will speak on “The Geopolitics of the Energy Transition” at the Energy Institute at Colorado State University. October 8, 2018.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Much Ado About Nord Stream 2: Pipeline Politics and European Energy Security
Alex Gilbert and Morgan D. Bazilian explore how the USA can support European energy security. September 26, 2018.
Payne Institute Executive Director Morgan D. Bazilian will discuss the global momentum for climate action and share stories of energy evolutions from other oil and gas jurisdictions. September 26, 2018.
THE U.S.-INDIA STATE AND URBAN INITIATIVE ANNOUNCES A HISTORIC PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN COLORADO AND GUJARAT
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Delhi-based Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, which together lead the U.S.-India State and Urban Initiative, announce a partnership between the government of Gujarat and the government of Colorado. September 17, 2018.
Limits to Waste: Pushing Materials Manufacturing Towards Zero Waste for a Sustainable Future Mines-NREL Joint Workshop. September 13-14, 2018.
This paper examines the impacts of three types of financial incentives on non-renewable resource extraction that produces reversible stock pollution. A particular emphasis is the timing of remediation. We show that traditional standards-based regulation incentivizes operators to delay remediation. September 11, 2018.
Explores the complex economics and politics of fossil fuel subsidies, and distils key principles for designing and implementing of effective reforms. September 2018.
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.
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.
Morgan Bazilian, executive director of the Payne Institute, was featured in a Financial Times article about Facebook’s plan to buy renewable energy to cover 100 percent of its electricity use by the end of 2020. August 28, 2018.
This invitation-only event, supported by the Payne Institute, will bring together a cross-section of key stakeholders and decision makers, for strategic dialogue and formation of solutions. Through exclusive panels, paired with focused working groups, the Denver Energy Dialogues will be centered around creating a path towards achieving a lower carbon, cleaner energy future. August 23, 2018.
This paper discusses a new formulation for embedding all three typical sub-components of a CSP plant (namely, solar field, storage, and power block in a solar tower configuration) in a long-term expansion planning model so that these are co-optimized. The proposed formulation can be accommodated in standard linear/mixed-integer linear programming (LP/MIP) models. August 10, 2018.
This essay in explores how shared energy infrastructure and markets can serve as a basis for peace building and economic development. August 8, 2018.
his paper estimates the effect of starting the Mid continent ISO electricity market in 2005 on wind generation.An average increase in wind plant capacity factors of 1.7–2.8 percentage points associated with the start of the market is estimated, relative to neighboring wind plants not in the market. These results are robust to potentially confounding variation associated with wind speed differences determined by weather. August 6, 2018.
OIL SECURITY AND GEOGRAPHY
For ten days starting July 25, Saudi Aramco suspended all oil shipments through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, one of the world’s most vital oil chokepoints, after two Saudi oil tankers were attacked off the coast of Yemen. One of the ships was lightly damaged but no one was injured. The incident marked at least the fifth time this year that an oil tanker has been targeted by Houthi militants backed by Iran. Over the last three years, the Houthis have deployed mines, anti-ship cruise missiles, explosive drone skiffs, and their own attack boats. August 2018.
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.
PAYNE INSTITUTE FACULTY FELLOW PROFESSOR EGGERT TESTIFIES BEFORE THE U.S. SENATE ON CRITICAL MATERIALS
Professor Roderick Eggert testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on the Department of Interior’s Critical Minerals list to strengthen the United States’ mineral security. July 17, 2018.
How many of you out there reading this article choose your retirement investment options based on the simple payback method? June 19, 2018.
In this paper we provide a brief summary of the state of affairs and introduce the four papers in this Special Issue on extractive industries in Central America. June 18, 2018.
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.
The impact of oil governance on the extraction path of non-renewable resources is theoretically ambiguous. By employing field-level data in the South East Asia region, we utilize a change in the institutional design of oil governance in Indonesia to determine its impact on oil and gas extraction paths. June 1, 2018.
The Payne Institute is pleased to welcome Eirik Wærnes as its newest non-resident fellow. Wærnes is senior vice president and chief economist at Equinor, a group responsible for macroeconomics, energy and commodity market analyses. June 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.
Cyril Widdershoven, Payne Institute fellow and founder of Verocy, authors viewpoint for the Payne Institute commentary series. June 2018.
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.
The notion of an ‘energy transition’ remains an inchoate concept. In its recent formulation, it refers to a confluence of issues from rapid cost declines in renewable energy systems like wind and solar, to the US shale ‘revolution’, to IT advances in smart grids, to innovative new business and contract models. June 2018.
This paper draws upon the unique history of New Mexico, leveraging a natural experiment to assess how the partial transition in the early 20th century from the original small decentralized communal Spanish irrigation systems (acequias) to centralized quasi-public irrigation districts altered agricultural development and production. May 26, 2018.
Price-based interventions can be corrective where users extract from a common resource, but may also impact existing social norms, often crowding them out. In contrast, the article finds a pumping fee implemented by a group of irrigators in Southern Colorado effectively crowds-in pro-conservation norms, enhancing the financial incentive’s impact. May 18, 2018.
This analysis seeks to understand whether changes in oil regulation brought about by the shale
revolution have restricted the pace of drilling and production. May 7, 2018.
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.
Since 2007, US coal-fired electricity generation has declined by a stunning 25 percent. Detailed daily unit-level data is used to examine the joint impact of natural gas prices and wind generation on coal-fired generation and emissions, with a focus on the interaction between gas prices and wind. This interaction is found to be significant. May 2018.
TERRORISM, GEOPOLITICS, AND OIL SECURITY: USING REMOTE SENSING TO ESTIMATE OIL PRODUCTION OF THE ISLAMIC STATE
As the world’s most traded commodity, oil production is typically well monitored and analyzed. It also has established links to geopolitics, international relations, and security. Despite this attention, the illicit production, refining, and trade of oil and derivative products occur all over the world and provide significant revenues outside of the oversight and regulation of governments. April 16, 2018.
Declining labor productivity has caused more Appalachian coal mine closures and employment losses than has low natural gas prices or electricity demand. April 4, 2018.
ESTIMATING THE CROSS-PRICE ELASTICITY OF REGULAR GASOLINE WITH RESPECT TO THE PRICE OF PREMIUM GASOLINE
Gasoline demand has been extensively researched, yet there has been no attempt to estimate cross-price elasticities of different grades of gasoline. Such knowledge will allow accurate determination of the impact of a fuel pricing policy that has different rates of tax or subsidy depending on the gasoline grade. April 1, 2018.
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.
Join Sarah Ladislaw, director and senior fellow of the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, and a member of the Payne Institute Advisory Board, as well as Morgan Bazilian, executive director of the Payne Institute and research professor of public policy at the Colorado School of Mines, as they discuss energy development in post-conflict Ireland and other areas around the world in the CSIS podcast, “A Conversation with Morgan Bazilian.” March 26, 2018.
SHELL – YES, THAT SHELL – JUST OUTLINED A RADICAL SCENARIO FOR WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO HALT CLIMATE CHANGE
Morgan Bazilian, executive director of the Payne Institute, contributed to the story written bChris Mooney and Steven Mufson in the Washington Post. March 26, 2018.
A video featuring addresses by U.S. industry and research leaders, including Morgan Bazilian, executive director of the Payne Institute, on their experiences of engaging with research in Ireland, at the Science Foundation Ireland St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal event in Washington, D.C. March 14, 2018.
In this paper, we compare 2015 satellite-derived natural gas (gas) flaring data with the greenhouse gas reduction targets presented by those countries in their nationally determined contributions (NDC) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement. March 8, 2018.
China is increasingly aware of the complex interdependencies between water and energy. China’s rapid economic development has been accompanied by a similar rapid increase in energy supply and demand, which is dominated by coal, resulting in significant air pollution and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. March 2018.
THE CONTOURS OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION: INVESTMENT BY INTERNATIONAL OIL AND GAS COMPANIES IN RENEWABLE ENERGY
International oil and gas companies are deploying a range of strategies to invest in renewable energy technologies and projects. By now, the IOCs have become substantive players in the renewables market, lending their scale and business expertise to deploying clean energy. February 21, 2018.
This Viewpoint briefly considers the implications of, and possible policy responses to, the critical role of minerals and metals in the current “energy transition”. February 10, 2018.
In this study, we examine the fuel-price responsiveness across gas plant technologies and across the market structures in which the plants operate. We find that there are significant differences in the generation and efficiency responses of gas plants to fuel prices across generation technologies and market structures. February 2, 2018.
Government mandated policies forcing dry cooling for new coal-fired power plants was reaffirmed as wise and appropriate, though at odds with achieving Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) which quickly disincentivizes the use of coal while promoting renewables and nuclear, as a major step towards achieving below 2 °C emission reductions. February 2018.
We study how market deregulation affects the upstream industry both theoretically and empirically. Our theory predicts that firms respond to increases in uncertainty due to deregulation by writing more rigid contracts with their suppliers. January 5, 2018.
There has been much discussion recently in the U.S. press about the fate of coal mining and its employees, specifically in the Appalachian region. This analysis looks at how Appalachian coal mining responds to changes in coal production from the Western US, whose mines are generally on federal land. January 2018.
TRUMP TEASES REASONABLE ENERGY POLICY
The President’s new National Security Strategy is encouragingly “low-energy,” but is it credible? President Trump unveiled his National Security Strategy (NSS) on Monday, and though onlookers had held their breath out of fear that the document would reflect the President’s blustery rhetoric, what emerged was actually a surprisingly staid set of organizing principles to guide U.S. foreign policy. December 23, 2017.
How to induce households to install energy efficient technology remains a puzzle. Could an energy labeling requirement for residential real estate help? We propose that the salient color-letter grades on the English Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) served as targets, motivating vendors to invest in energy efficiency. November 26, 2017.
Energy considerations are core to mission delivery of armed forces worldwide. The interaction between military energy issues and non-military energy issues is not often explicitly treated in the literature or media, although in the last decade there has been some increase driven especially by the issues of clean energy. November 20, 2017.
We build on the limited previous work by combining robust engineering and economic policy aspects to
investigate the practicality of wide scale implementation of CCS when partnered with CO2-EOR also focusing on
the transition from CO2-EOR to solely carbon sequestration on a single field level. June 18-21, 2017.
Power Africa, the United States’ effort to boost electrification on the continent launched in 2013, has made an impressive start. Progress toward generation and connections goals are on track. November 17, 2017.
COORDINATING MICROGRID PROCUREMENT DECISIONS WITH A DISPATCH STRATEGY FEATURING A CONCENTRATION GRADIENT
A mathematical model designs and operates a hybrid power system consisting of diesel generators, photovoltaic cells and battery storage to minimize fuel use at remote sites subject to meeting variable demand profiles, given the following constraints: power generated must meet demand in every time period; power generated by any technology cannot exceed its maximum rating; and best practices should be enforced to prolong the life of the technologies. We solve this optimization model in two phases: (i) we obtain the design and dispatch strategy for an hourly load profile, and (ii) we use the design strategy, derived in (i), as input to produce the optimal dispatch strategy at the minute level. November 10, 2017.
HOW MINI-GRIDS CAN POWER DISASTER RECOVERY: NEW ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES AND THE FUTURE OF HUMANITARIAN AID
The NGOs and international organizations in charge of the refugee camps rightly prioritize immediate needs—food, water, shelter, medical care—but, just as in Puerto Rico, even the most basic services are reliant on energy. As a result, the sustainable and reliable provision of energy services needs to be at the top of first responders’ list of priorities. November 9, 2017.
CHARACTERISTIC OF SUCCESSFUL ENERGY POLICY FROM POLITICS, ECONOMICS, SOCIAL, AND TECHNOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE – A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS
This paper creates a conceptual framework that analyzes successful characteristics of energy policy defined by PEST (Politics, Economics, Social and Technological) determinant indicators. Energy policy that is promoted by a government is meant to ensure reliable energy supply by stimulating energy growth or promoting energy efficiency. November 2017.
INTEGRATED ASSORTMENT PLANNING AND STORE-WIDE SHELF SPACE ALLOCATION: AN OPTIMIZATION-BASED APPROACH
This paper investigates retail assortment planning along with store-wide shelf space allocation in a manner that maximizes the overall store profit. October 21, 2017.
This paper looks at the unique case of Indonesia that only provides a subsidy for regular gasoline and in turn proposes an alternative policy that introduces a subsidy for premium gasoline at a lower rate to reduce the overall gasoline subsidy cost. October 18, 2017.
SUN BLOCK – HOW PROTECTIONISM DIMS THE SOLAR SECTOR’S PROSPECTS
In a recent decision on a case at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), commission members unanimously (4-0) decided to open the door to protectionist measures against crystalline solar panel imports from nearly every country. As of 2016, an estimated 87 percent of U.S. solar installations use foreign-assembled panels, which means that the ruling could bring a future that is significantly less bright for solar energy in the United States. October 6, 2017.
The Iraqi’ Kurds voted this week in an historic referendum for their independence and freedom. On the day of the referendum, oil prices had hit a two-year high, with markets perhaps reacting to the Turkish threat to halt pipeline flows from KRI. October 4, 2017.
Many globally important groundwater aquifers are under considerable stress as withdrawals, predominantly for irrigation, outpace recharge. Meanwhile, groundwater policy to address the common-pool resource losses remains in its nascent stage. This study analyzes a recent and unique bottom-up effort to self-impose a groundwater pumping fee in San Luis Valley, Colorado. Utilizing a difference-in-difference econometric framework, our results bring new and direct empirical evidence to the debate on the use of economic incentives in groundwater policy. August 30, 2017.
We investigate the role of energy efficiency in rate-based emissions intensity standards, a particularly policy-relevant consideration given that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan allows crediting of electricity savings as a means of complying with state-specific emissions standards. August 4, 2017.
In this paper, we assess climate policy in the context of three important alternative trade formulations. First is a Heckscher‐Ohlin model based on trade in homogeneous products, which establishes the traditional neoclassical view on comparative advantage. Second is an Armington model based on regionally differentiated goods, which is a popular specification for numerical simulations of trade policy. Third is a Melitz model based on monopolistic competition and firm heterogeneity July 27, 2017.
Using the U.S. NOx Budget Program (NBP) as a case study, this analysis tests whether power plants in states which chose an updating allocation increase their electricity production relative to plants in states that chose a fixed allocation. July 2017.
RETHINKING ENERGY STATECRAFT: UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY AND THE CHANGING GEOPOLITICS OF ENERGY
The United States Administration has an opportunity to foster a new energy statecraft based on the realities of a dynamic and rapidly‐changing global energy marketplace. The geopolitical considerations of this energy transition are not well‐explored. Additionally, the recent renaissance of oil and gas in the US has reinforced the alluring notion that energy independence and national energy security are the same thing. June 28, 2017.
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.
KURDISTAN IRAQ’S INDEPENDENCE, A WIN-WIN FOR THE REGION AND THE GREAT POWERS
The Middle East is going through the biggest transformation since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of modern nation states by colonial powers. Some borders are disintegrating while others are emerging, namely those of a new country: Kurdistan. June 8, 2017.
Empirical studies show that years of schooling are positively correlated with good health. The implication may go from education to health, from health to education, or from factors that influence both variables. We formalize a model that determines an individual’s demand for knowledge and health based on the causal effects, and study the impacts on the individual’s decisions of policy instruments such as subsidies on medical care, subsidizing schooling, income tax reduction, lump-sum transfers, and improving health at young age. May 20, 2017.
As part of an energy-reduction study at remote sites, we explore a power system comprised of hybrid renewable energy technologies, specifically, photovoltaic cells, battery storage, and diesel generators. An optimization model determines the design and dispatch strategy of the power system to meet load off grid, such as at a military forward operating base. The model alternately uses two types of load data from government agencies, simulated and observed, to assess the effects of these inputs. May 19, 2017.
A SHARED SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY: MONEY VERSUS EFFORT CONTRIBUTIONS IN THE VOLUNTARY PROVISION OF PUBLIC GOODS
We report on a laboratory experiment exploring whether the choice of some to contribute money in lieu effort affects the voluntary contributions of those who continue to provide effort. Subjects complete lab tasks as a contribution to a public good – carbon emission reductions. May 2, 2017.
OPTIMAL DESIGN AND DISPATCH OF A SYSTEM OF DIESEL GENERATORS, PHOTOVOLTAICS AND BATTERIES FOR REMOTE LOCATIONS
We present an optimization model for establishing a hybrid power design and dispatch strategy for remote locations, such as a military forward operating base, that models the acquisition of different power technologies as integer variables and their operation using nonlinear expressions. March 28, 2017.
THE IMPACTS OF UNILATERAL CLIMATE POLICY ON COMPETITIVENESS: EVIDENCE FROM COMPUTABLE GENERAL EQUILIBRIUM MODELS
In this article we discuss possible ways to anchor the concept of competitiveness in economic analysis. We then use this framework as the basis for a systematic survey of the literature on the quantitative impacts of unilateral climate change policy, which are derived from the results of computable general equilibrium (CGE) models. We present empirical estimates from this literature on the magnitude of competitiveness effects that might be associated with the adoption of unilateral climate change policies. February 20, 2017.
There is mounting evidence that fossil fuel subsidies are detrimental to economic, environmental, and social sustainability, as they tend to drain national budgets, encourage overconsumption of fossil fuels, and aggravate inequality. Despite strong incentives for subsidy reform, the record of success of past reforms has been mixed. Governments have typically focused on managing the downside risks of reform, while falling short of maximizing the development potential associated with subsidy reform. Based on a review of case studies of past fossil fuel subsidy reforms, this article distills and presents key principles for designing effective fossil fuel subsidy reforms. February 13, 2017.
POPULATION DYNAMICS THRUST OF THE INTEGRATED MULTI-SECTOR, MULTI-SCALE MODELING (IM3) SCIENTIFIC FOCUS AREA
Dr. Jared Carbone was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy grant in an interdisciplinary collaboration with researchers at NCAR, NREL, and PNNL, among others. November 23, 2016.
BRIBES, BUREAUCRACIES, AND BLACKOUTS: TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING HOW CORRUPTION AT THE FIRM LEVEL IMPACTS ELECTRICITY RELIABILITY
This paper looks at whether bribes for electricity connections affect electricity reliability. Using detailed firm-level data, we estimate various specifications based upon repeated cross-sections and means-based pseudo-panels to show that bribes are closely related to poorer electricity reliability. November 9, 2016.
The inference from ordinary least-squares regressions is often sensitive to the presence of one or more influential observations. A multi-row deletion method is presented as a simple diagnostic for influential observations in small-sample data sets. Multi-row deletion is shown to be complementary to two related diagnostic tests, DFBETAS and robust regression. October 26, 2016.
Researchers have utilized the fact that many states have term limits (as opposed to being eligible for reelection) for governors to determine How changes in electoral incentives alter state regulatory agency behavior. This paper asks whether these impacts spill over into private sector decision-making. October 18, 2016.
AVOIDED ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AGRICULTURE: INTEGRATING A LAND SURFACE MODEL (CLM) WITH A GLOBAL ECONOMIC MODEL (iPETS)
Crop yields are vulnerable to climate change. We assess the global impacts of climate change on agricultural systems under two climate projections (RCP8.5 and RCP4.5) to quantify the difference in impacts if climate change were reduced. September 27, 2016.
POWERING AFRICA: HOW CAPTIVE GENERATION CAN ELECTRIFY THE CONTINENT
No wonder unreliable power supply has been identified by business leaders as the single most pressing obstacle to the region’s growth, ahead of corruption, red tape, and access to capital. September 16, 2016.
The current literature on energy access highlights energy deprivation on a regional or country basis, but frequently neglects those outside of national energy agendas such as refugees and displaced people. To fill this gap and to help inform future analysis, this paper presents an end-use accounting model for energy consumption for cooking and lighting by displaced populations. We conclude that there is a strong human, economic, and environmental case to be made for improving energy access for refugees and displaced people, and for recognizing energy as a core concern within humanitarian relief efforts. September 24, 2016.
Jointly produced renewable resources, such as fish, have been extensively studied in the literature on multiproduct firms. However, relatively little empirical work has been done on jointly produced non-renewable resources such as metals. This difference is key because theoretical Hotelling-style models have shown that non-renewable resource producers faced with fixed capacity constraints and heterogeneous Resources may reduce output in response to higher price, in contrast to the behavior of nearly all other types of firms. September 2016.
POVERTY AND SHARED RESPONSIBILITY IMPLICATIONS OF REDUCING TRADE COSTS THROUGH DEEP INTEGRATION IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
Evidence indicates that trade costs are a much more substantial barrier to trade than tariffs, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. We decompose trade costs into: (i) trade facilitation; (ii) non-tariff barriers; and (iii) the costs of business services. Our paper is the first CGE- microsimulation model to assess the poverty and shared prosperity impacts of the reduction of trade costs. September 2016.
Using data on planned, cancelled, and operational CCS projects, this paper aims to elicit characteristics that render CCS projects likely to become operational. These results suggest that a focus on storage site selection and beneficial uses of carbon dioxide would encourage CCS development. August 28, 2016.
In this paper, we investigate the economic and environmental impacts of tariffs on carbon embodied in trade. We find that carbon tariffs do reduce foreign emissions, but their ability to improve global cost‐effectiveness of unilateral climate policy is quite limited – even if tariff rates are based on more sophisticated second‐best considerations. If carbon tariffs are levied on the full carbon content of traded goods, they can even increase rather than decrease the global cost of emission reduction. July 17, 2016
This article outlines the current state of affairs in fossil fuel subsidy reform, and highlights its contribution at the nexus of climate policy, fiscal stability and sustainable development. It discusses common definitions, provides quantitative estimates, and presents the evidence for key arguments in favour of subsidy reform. The main drivers and barriers for reform are also discussed, including the role of (low) oil prices and political economy challenges. June 24, 2016
The steady-state impact of reductions in the price of oil is examined using a CGE model of the Canadian economy. In our base case of a 10 percent reduction in the oil price, national output declines by 1.0 percent and consumer welfare by 0.90 percent. June 20, 2016
Natural gas power plants can further specify their procurement contracts with pipeline distributors using a firm contract option that guarantees delivery at an additional cost. Using transaction level data from 2008-2012 we empirically test what characteristics lead to use of firm contracts and how the premium for firm contracts changes with these characteristics. June 2016.
We examine a simple lumpy investment problem for the full range, from complete irreversibility to completely reversibility, with a focus on the latter. April 16, 2016.
This paper proposes a Bayesian learning model of regulatory enforcement. Firms exert compliance effort based on their belief about a regulator’s effort level. Firms use regulatory actions to learn about the regulator and update their own compliance efforts accordingly. This theoretical model suggests that deterrence will be most effective when regulators have discretion or when firms are inexperienced. April 2016.
OWNERSHIP RIGHTS VERSUS ACCESS RIGHTS ALLOCATION TO CRITICAL RESOURCES: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF CHANGES IN OIL GOVERNANCE
This paper aims to empirically investigate the impact of changes in oil governance, specifically of changes in allocation of ownership rights versus access rights, to aggregate domestic income. April 2016.
This analysis examines how the performance‐adjusted rates of thermal emissions and water withdrawals for cooling units have changed over their vintage and how these rates of change were impacted by imposition of the CWA. Results show that the rate of progress increased for cooling systems installed after the CWA while there was no progress previous to it. February 5, 2016.
We ask whether the threat of carbon tariffs might lower the cost of reductions in world carbon emissions by inducing unregulated regions to adopt emission controls. We use a numerical model to generate payoffs of a game in which a coalition regulates emissions and chooses whether to employ carbon tariffs against unregulated regions. Unregulated regions respond by abating, retaliating, or ignoring the tariffs. February 2016.
We build on research documenting demand-side consequences of energy-efficiency labels for buildings by testing for a supply-side response. We exploit a natural experiment to test whether the introduction of mandatory energy labels for residential homes influenced investment in home energy efficiency. January 2016.
Conditions of exploitation of natural resources under certainty and uncertainty in some canonical natural resource problems are unified as r-percent rules by which the sum of all sources of gain from refraining from an irreversible action is compared to the interest rate. Action is initiated once the gain from action equals the gain from inaction. Morris Adelman’s insights, succinctly presented his 1990 paper on mineral depletion, are highlighted as implicitly recognizing, and even being grounded by, these timing rule. Fall 2015.
DIVISION OF NONRENEWABLE RESOURCE RENTS: A MODEL OF ASYMMETRIC NASH COMPETITION WITH STATE CONTROL OF HETEROGENEOUS RESOURCES
This paper presents a model of nonrenewable resource extraction across multiple states which engage in strategic tax competition. The model incorporates rents due to both resource scarcity and capital scarcity as well as intra-state Ricardian rents. September 2015.
This book brings together recent advances in the areas of supply chain optimization, supply chain management, and life-cycle cost analysis of bioenergy. These topics are important for the development and long-term sustainability of the bioenergy industry. August 11, 2015.
We study a two-stage stochastic and nonlinear optimization model for operating a power grid exposed to a natural disaster. Although this approach can be generalized to any natural hazard of continuous (and not instantaneous) nature, our focus is on wildfires. We assume that an approaching wildfire impacts the power grid by reducing the transmission capacity of its overhead lines. June 24, 2015.
Subglobal and subnational policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gases are often thought to be less effective than more geographically comprehensive policies as production, and thus emissions, of trade exposed industries may move from the regulated to the unregulated regions. This so-called leakage may negate all emission reductions from the regulated regions and, even worse, may lead to an overall increase in emissions if the unregulated regions have equally or more emissions intensive production. June 2015.
This paper investigates the role of learning-by-doing in drilling horizontal wells in the Bakken Shale Play. I use a large set of data on oil wells drilled in North Dakota between 2005 to 2014 to measure how firms reduce drilling times as they acquire experience. The results show that as firms gain experience in the Bakken, they drill wells faster. May 11, 2015.
OPTIMAL DESIGN OF MIXED AC-DC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS FOR COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS: A NONCONVEX GENERALIZED BENDERS DECOMPOSITION APPROACH
This article develops (i) a mixed-integer, nonlinear, nonconvex mathematical programming problem to determine maximally energy efficient designs for mixed AC–DC electricity distribution systems in commercial buildings, and (ii) describes a tailored global optimization algorithm based on Nonconvex Generalized Benders Decomposition. May 1, 2015.
Recently, interest in thorium’s potential use in a nuclear fuel cycle has been renewed. Thorium is more abundant, at least on average, than uranium in the earth’s crust and, therefore, could theoretically extend the use of nuclear energy technology beyond the economic limits of uranium resources. This paper provides an economic assessment of thorium availability by creating cumulative-availability and potential mining-industry cost curves, based on known thorium resources. March 2, 2015.
POWER TO THE POOR
Some two billion people lack electricity outright or have poor-quality service, and nearly three billion rely on dirty fuels, such as firewood and animal dung, for cooking and heating. Nearly 90 percent of those suffering from energy poverty, as the problem is known, can be found in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. March/April 2015.
This paper links dynamic overlapping-generation and micro-simulation models of the United States to estimate the initial incidence of carbon taxes. We find that while carbon taxes are regressive, incidence depends much more on how carbon tax revenue is used. March 2015.
We estimate the relationship between electricity, fuel and carbon prices in Germany, France, the Netherlands, the Nord Pool market and Spain, using one-year futures for base and peak load prices for the years 2008-2011, corresponding to physical settlement during the second market phase of the EU ETS. We employ a series of estimation methods that allow for an increasing interaction between electricity and input prices on the one hand, and between electricity markets on the other. Spring 2015.
In a market comprised of multiple price-maker firms, the payoff each firm receives depends not only on one’s own actions but also on the actions of the other firms. This is the defining characteristic of a non-cooperative economic game. In this article, we ask: What is the revenue-maximizing production schedule for multiple price-maker hydroelectric producers competing in a deregulated, bid-based market? February 6, 2015.
Food price shocks can have substantial welfare implications, particularly in the world’s low income regions. A number of previous studies has shown that the United States ethanol mandate has increased average corn price levels. Our results suggest that the ethanol mandate has increased the likelihood of very high price levels by even more than previously thought. February 2015.
Under the U.K. government’s Renewable Obligation system of tradable quotas, each unit of generation from renewables creates a renewable obligation certificate (ROC). Electricity generators can earn ROCs through their own production, purchase ROCs in the market, or pay the buyout price to comply with the quota set by the RO. A unique aspect of this regulation is that all entities holding ROCs receive a share of the buyout fund – the sum of all compliance purchases using the buyout price. January 29, 2015.
CONTINUOUS PIECEWISE LINEAR DELTA-APPROXIMATIONS FOR UNIVARIATE FUNCTIONS: COMPUTING MINIMAL BREAKPOINT SYSTEMS
For univariate functions, we compute optimal breakpoint systems subject to the condition that the piecewise linear approximator, under-, and over-estimator never deviate more than a given -tolerance from the original function over a given finite interval. The linear approximators, under-, and over-estimators involve shift variables at the breakpoints allowing for the computation of an optimal piecewise linear, continuous approximator, under-, and over-estimator. We develop three non-convex optimization models: two yield the minimal number of breakpoints, and another in which, for a fixed number of breakpoints, the breakpoints are placed such that the maximal deviation is minimized. December 3, 2014.
HARMONIZATION OF INITIAL ESTIMATES OF SHALE GAS LIFE CYCLE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS FOR ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION
Through a meta-analytical procedure we call harmonization, we develop robust, analytically consistent, and updated comparisons of estimates of life cycle GHG emissions for electricity produced from shale gas, conventionally produced natural gas, and coal. July 21, 2014.
This study provides an empirical test of this hypothesis using daily changes in LME average copper prices over the 1994–2011 period. It finds that the correlation coefficients between day-to-day changes in spot and futures prices are quite close to 1 during periods of strong contango. During periods of backwardation and weak contango, the correlations are positive but lower. May 27, 2014.
Generation expansion planning for hydro-thermal power systems aims to find optimal investment decisions among a set of possible power plant projects. For any given investment plan, expansion planning models must account for investment costs as well as expected operational costs. Additionally, when modeling hydro-thermal power systems, one must consider the inherent uncertainty in hydro inflows because variations in inflows can significantly impact operational decisions. To model the expansion planning problem for a hydro-thermal power producer, we propose a novel decomposition algorithm, based on Benders decomposition. May 8, 2014.
COMPUTING AREA-TIGHT PIECEWISE LINEAR OVERESTIMATORS, UNDERSTIMATORS AND TUBES FOR UNIVARIATE FUNCTIONS
We develop algorithms computing piecewise linear, continuous overestimators, underestimators and tubes for univariate functions which minimize the area between the approximator and the function. We call such approximators area-tight. Area-tight overestimators, underestimators and tubes are of interest when solving large-scale mixed-integer non-linear programming problems (MINLPs). May 8, 2014.
It is generally accepted that decentralized policy choice in the presence of interjurisdictional spillovers is inefficient. Strikingly, Ogawa and Wildasin (2009) find that in a model with heterogenous jurisdictions, interjurisdictional capital flows, and interjurisdictional environmental damage spillovers, decentralized planning outcomes are equivalent to that under a centralized planner. May 6, 2014.
Under climate policy aimed at limiting atmospheric concentration of GHGs to 650 ppm CO2e, costs could increase fivefold when CCS is excluded from the portfolio of mitigation option measures in the industry sector as compared to when CCS is excluded in the power sector. This effect is driven largely by the lack of alternatives for deep emission reductions in industry. April 28, 2014.
SOLVING REAL-WORLD CUTTING STOCK-PROBLEMS IN THE PAPER INDUSTRY: MATHEMATICAL APPROACHES, EXPERIENCE AND CHALLENGES
We discuss cutting stock problems (CSPs) from the perspective of the paper industry and the financial impact they make. Exact solution approaches and heuristics have been used for decades to support cutting stock decisions in that industry. We have developed polylithic solution techniques integrated in our ERP system to solve a variety of cutting stock problems occurring in real world problems. April, 4, 2014.
VARIABLE LONG-TERM TRENDS IN MINERAL PRICES: THE ONGOING TUG-OF-WAR BETWEEN EXPLORATION, DEPLETION, AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
This paper explores the use of low-frequency band-pass filters for describing long-run trends in real mineral commodity prices. This approach has the advantage of allowing long-run trend rates to evolve gradually over time, rather than assuming that they are constant (perhaps with occasional structural breaks) over time. This is a flexible way of capturing the ongoing ‘tug of war’ between exploration, depletion, and technological change. April 2014.
This paper develops a new strategy based on Generalized Method of Moments to estimate household electricity demand. Our demand estimation approach uses publicly available expenditure data and utility-level consumption data from several major U.S. cities, complementing studies that use individual billing data which are richer yet often proprietary. February 14, 2014.
In this paper we show that the WFP has distortionary effects on the renewable technology market. Using the sharp eligibility criteria of the WFP in a Regression Discontinuity Design, this analysis finds a reduction in the propensity to install renewable energy technologies of around 2.7 percentage points due to the WFP. February 2014.
USING MONTE CARLO SIMULATION WITH DCF AND REAL OPTIONS RISK PRICING TECHNIQUES TO ANALYSE A MINE FINANCING PROPOSAL
This paper uses Monte Carlo simulation with both DCF and real options risk pricing techniques to evaluate an actual project financing proposal for a small gold mine. Project free cash flows accrue to equity, the host government through a royalty and corporate income tax, and creditors through a non-recourse project loan. January 18, 2014.
In a competitive environment with bid-based markets, power generation companies desire to develop bidding strategies that maximize their revenue. In this paper we ask: What approaches and methodologies have been used to model the bidding problem for hydro-electric producers? We present the problem’s developments over time and, through reviewing different variants of the problem, progressively build to the case in which the agent is a price-maker hydro-electric producer. January 9, 2014.
In the last decade, voluntary environmental programs have increased considerably in number and scope. A novel use of these programs is to diffuse new technology in industry as means to improving their environmental outcomes. This paper tests whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Combined Heat-and-Power (CHP) Partnership has encouraged the diffusion of CHP systems.January 2014.
A set of ellipses, with given semi-major and semi-minor axes, is to be cut from a rectangular design plate, while minimizing the area of the design rectangle. The design plate is subject to lower and upper bounds of its widths and lengths; the ellipses are free of any orientation restrictions. We present new mathematical programming formulations for this ellipse cutting problem. The key idea in the developed non-convex nonlinear programming models is to use separating hyperlines to ensure the ellipses do not overlap with each other. December 7, 2013.
The objective of this paper is to determine an optimal plan for expanding the capacity of a power grid in order to minimize the likelihood of a large cascading blackout. Capacity-expansion decisions considered in this paper include the addition of new transmission lines and the addition of capacity to existing lines. We embody these interacting considerations in a simulation optimization model, where the objective is to minimize the probability of a large blackout subject to a budget constraint. September 13, 2013.
This paper presents the first empirical test of the green paradox hypothesis, according to which well-intended but imperfectly implemented environmental policies may lead to detrimental outcomes due to supply side responses. We use the introduction of the Acid Rain Program in the U.S. as a case study. April 18, 2013.
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