News

The Next Frontier of Carbon Accounting May 2020

THE NEXT FRONTIER OF CARBON ACCOUNTING

Payne Institute Research Associate Jordy Lee and our COMET team collaborators write a unified approach for unlocking systematic change in carbon accounting.  Pressure is building on companies to disclose the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that form both the direct and indirect carbon footprint of their operations. In aggregate, industrial supply chains are responsible for over 40 percent of all GHG emissions.  This pressure for more accuracy and transparency comes from investors, policymakers, and consumers. Increasingly, each of these players demand that industrial companies prove better alignment with carbon reduction trajectories commensurate with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.  May 2020. 

Will COVID-19 and Cheap Oil Green Our Energy Future? 5/2020

Will COVID-19 and Cheap Oil Green Our Energy Future?

Payne Fellow William Nuttall writes how last month, Shell joined BP in embracing a serious low carbon strategy, this makes environmental sense, but in a world of enduring cheap oil it could also make good long-term business sense.  In recent days, we have seen US oil futures dropping to a price of -$35 a barrel! Negative prices have never been seen before. Perhaps, this event will be remembered as the moment that the oil industry finally changed, but the seeds of change have been around for some time.  May 2020.

WHY LOW OIL PRICES SPELL TROUBLE FOR COLORADO’S OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY 4/30/2020

WHY LOW OIL PRICES SPELL TROUBLE FOR COLORADO’S OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

Our Director, Morgan D. Bazilian, was featured in this recent article in Boulder Weekly on what does the bottoming out of oil prices mean for Colorado’s oil and gas producers and the communities that live near wells? And what for the people who live near operations and are concerned about the long-term environmental impacts? April 30, 2020.

All Those Parked 747s Herald Peak Oil Demand 4/30/2020

ALL THOSE PARKED 747S HERALD PEAK OIL DEMAND

Payne Fellow Liam Denning writes how jet-fuel demand has declined more in percentage terms than any other petroleum product, according to the International Energy Agency’s initial assessment of the impact of Covid-19, released Thursday. That’s both for the first quarter and, under current estimates, 2020 as a whole.  April 30, 2020. 

THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT, COVID-19 AND CRITICAL MATERIALS 4/30/2020

THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT, COVID-19 AND CRITICAL MATERIALS

As the Coronavirus continues to demonstrate the fragility of commodity supply-chains, further use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) could allow for the United States to develop its domestic critical mineral sources. Mining and processing locations across the world are being disrupted and highlight the United States’ heavy reliance on imported critical minerals. April 30, 2020.

HERE’S WHAT AN OIL BAILOUT COULD MEAN FOR EMISSIONS 4/27/2020

HERE’S WHAT AN OIL BAILOUT COULD MEAN FOR EMISSIONS

Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert, was featured in this recent article in E&E News. A federal bailout of struggling oil firms is unlikely to alter the trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions, according to analysts, who say market factors dictate the pace of oil production over stimulus programs related to the coronavirus. April 27, 2020.

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

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

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

MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – MINING PLASTICS 4/23/2020

MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – MINING PLASTICS

Mines Energy Future podcast featuring Mike McGuirk, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Colorado School of Mines, with Jordy Lee, Payne Institute Researcher discussing Mining Plastic: Harvesting Stored Energy in a Re-use Revolution. April 23, 2020.

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

ENERGY TRANSITION: COAL AS THE CANARY

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

WORLD TOUR OF COVID-19 IMPACTS ON NIGHTTIME LIGHTS 4/21/2020

WORLD TOUR OF COVID-19 IMPACTS ON NIGHTTIME LIGHTS

The Payne Institute’s Earth Observation Group has been watching the nighttime lights dim, and recently recover, across the world since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a good proxy for both electricity demand and economic activity. The disruption patterns of the Coronavirus shutdowns have been recorded by the NASA / NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) day /night band (DNB). To examine this is detail, the EOG calculated changes in the brightness between monthly cloud‐free average radiance composites. The results are detailed in this paper. April 21, 2020.

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

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

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

THE EFFECTS OF CORONAVIRUS MEASURES ON ELECTRICITY MARKETS 4/20/2020

THE EFFECTS OF CORONAVIRUS MEASURES ON ELECTRICITY MARKETS

Payne Fellow Alex Gilbert writes about  how global economic activity has rapidly ground to a halt, energy markets have witnessed a rapid, unprecedented drop in demand. While economic impacts on electricity markets and investment so far have been limited compared to oil and gas markets, substantial short-term uncertainty could complicate long-term investment decisions. Nevertheless, the operational and demand effects are wide-ranging. April 20, 2020. 

What could a “just transition” look like for fossil fuel dependent regions? 4/17/2020

WHAT COULD A “JUST TRANSITION” LOOK LIKE FOR FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENT REGIONS?

Payne Institute Fellow Hisham Zerriffi, and collaborators write about how climate action presents special challenges for communities, and countries, that produce fossil fuels consumed elsewhere. As an exporter of relatively emissions-intensive and high-cost oil, Canada is especially vulnerable to price declines that will result from climate action.  The challenge of climate change mitigation for fossil fuel producing regions has been brought to the fore by the COVID-19 crisis, which has depressed global demand and driven already-low global oil prices still lower. Although economic recovery will follow, the prospect of delayed recovery and national economic stimulus packages tied to clean energy transition may hasten a moment of reckoning. In that context, it is especially timely to consider the call for “just transition” plans, which seek to ensure fossil fuel-dependent communities and workers are not left behind.  April 17, 2020.

SUSCEPTIBILITIES OF SOLAR ENERGY SUPPLY CHAINS 4/16/2020

SUSCEPTIBILITIES OF SOLAR ENERGY SUPPLY CHAINS

Payne student Anna Evans explains why the novel coronavirus outbreak in China disrupted the global solar panel supply chain, and how the virus’ increasing impacts will affect supply and demand. Without thoughtful policy design and implementation at the sub-national, national, and international level, these disruptions could continue to plague the solar industry. April 16, 2020.

CBC NEWS POLL: WHY THE ECONOMIC CRISIS COULD SPEED UP TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY 4/16/2020

CBC NEWS POLL: WHY THE ECONOMIC CRISIS COULD SPEED UP TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY

Our Director, Morgan D. Bazilian, was featured in this recent article in CABC on the energy transition and its impacts in Alberta. A CBC News poll, taken just before the economic implications of the coronavirus were becoming clear, suggests 79 per cent of Albertans already thought that the province should transition toward renewable energy. More than nine in 10 Albertans also think the province should do more to encourage the development of the technology sector.  And 51 per cent think that the province should transition away from oil and gas. April 16, 2020. 

CARBON CAPTURE, UTILIZATION, AND STORAGE UNDER THE PARIS AGREEMENT 4/15/2020

CARBON CAPTURE, UTILIZATION, AND STORAGE UNDER THE PARIS AGREEMENT

Payne Fellow Kipp Coddington writes that almost every international climate change scenario under the 2015 Paris Agreement shows the need for an enormous ramp-up of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies to meet global goals. Timing matters, not just scale. CCUS technology must be deployed at scale sooner rather than later if the agreement’s objective of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels is to be achieved. Additionally, CCUS uniquely holds promise as a “negative” emissions technology — removing carbon dioxide from the air. April 15, 2020. 

A SHORT HISTORY OF ENERGY DISRUPTIONS AND RECOVERY April 15, 2020

A SHORT HISTORY OF ENERGY DISRUPTIONS AND RECOVERY

Payne Fellow Paul Deane writes about how modern economies need significant amounts of energy to function with overall energy demand driven by economic activity, population, and technology. Because of the link between economic activity and energy, a shock in one system will reverberate in the other leaving fingerprints of the disruption in both historic data sets.The COVID19 impact on our energy system situation is different as it is predominantly demand-side in nature as a consequence of people using less energy for transport/flying etc but the remedial action required is dependent on a mixture of policy interventions, public confidence and likely technology and medical development. April 15, 2020.

PODCAST: THE MINERALS MANHATTAN PROJECT

PODCAST: THE MINERALS MANHATTAN PROJECT

Payne Fellow Emily Hersch has started a new podcast titled The Minerals Manhattan Project.  Morgan Bazilian contributed to the conversation with a discussion about the Mineral Foundations of the Energy Future.  They get into topics such as what lessons oil and gas has for minerals and mining in the United States, and an understanding of  how power and spheres of influence determine countries’ approaches to energy security. Since China isn’t an oil and gas producing nation, their approach to dominating those supply chains is different than for minerals and mining. April 13, 2020. 

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

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

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

THE FUTURE IS (STILL) UNDERGROUND 4/9/2020

THE FUTURE IS (STILL) UNDERGROUND

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian was featured in a Mines Magazine article discussing the changes in the global energy landscape.  It appears almost certain that there’s going to be significantly more technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, photovoltaics and wind turbines deployed. All of those are mineral-intensive. Thus, the future energy system will be more mineral-intensive than the past.  April 9, 2020.  

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

SAUDI ARABIA’S WORLD IS COMING UNDONE

Payne Fellow Liam Denning, Bloomberg Opinion, writes how bulls are banking on the kingdom this week, but its future role could be far more disruptive. Saudi Arabia is having a regular week: Facing off against Russia, taking phone calls from the U.S. president and supposedly cobbling together a plan to save the (oil) world. On Thursday, it will preside over an emergency meeting of OPEC+; the next day, a virtual gathering of G20 energy ministers. As opportunities to strut the global stage go, this one comes at a big cost: Like most oil exporters, the country faces a cataclysmic drop in demand. But this isn’t just about the money.  April 8, 2020.

Drill-Bit Parity: Supply-Side Links in Oil and Gas Markets 4/8/2020

DRILL-BIT PARITY: SUPPLY-CHAIN LINKS IN OIL AND GAS MARKETS

Payne Institute Fellow and Mines Professor Ben Gilbert and Gavin Roberts provide a model and empirical evidence of supply-side connections between oil and gas markets. Oil and gas production require common inputs: drilling rigs and specialized labor. Competition for inputs creates a cost-spillover channel through which a price shock for one commodity reduces drilling for, and production of, the other commodity. Oil wells produce associated gas, while gas wells produce associated liquid hydrocarbons. This creates an associated-commodity channel through which a price shock for one commodity might increase or decrease drilling for the other commodity, and always increases production of, the other commodity. April 8, 2020.  

COVID-19 – THE GLOBAL SOUTH MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN April 5, 2020

COVID-19 – THE GLOBAL SOUTH MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN

While the media focuses on countries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic — China, United States, Italy and South Korea — relatively less news emerges from the bulk of the world’s population living in developing countries. The United Nations is doing its best to highlight the grim prospects of those 70 million people who are displaced and now live in refugee camps or urban slums.   April 5, 2020.

A DIGITAL CANOPY: GETTING TO TRANSPARENCY April 3, 2020

A DIGITAL CANOPY: GETTING TO TRANSPARENCY

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

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

THE KURDISTAN REGION OF IRAQ TOUGHENS UP ON OIL SMUGGLING

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

Mining the Energy Transition April 2, 2020

MINING THE ENERGY TRANSITION

Jordy Lee and Morgan Bazilian explain why supply chain disruptions from COVID-19 are indicative of larger problems withing the mining industry. Without holding mining Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reports to a higher standard, the developmental changes and supply chain transparency required for a low-carbon future are unnecessarily constrained. April 2, 2020.

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

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

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

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

THE SHRINKING PATH FORWARD FOR U.S. OILFIELD SERVICES

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

PROVINCIAL, FEDERAL, AND INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY DRIVERS OF POSSIBLE STRANDED ASSETS IN ALBERTA, CANADA March 30, 2020

PROVINCIAL, FEDERAL, AND INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY DRIVERS OF POSSIBLE STRANDED ASSETS IN ALBERTA, CANADA

The Alberta oil sands are vast deposits of crude bitumen mixed with sand, water, and clay located on the Treaty 6 and 8 lands of the Cree, Dene, and Métis First Nations. The oil sands sector represents 10% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.  This analysis will adopt the theoretical lens of economic geography, which emphasizes the importance of multiscalar inquiry in understanding economic phenomena. Concerning the impacts caused by regulatory drivers of stranded assets, jurisdictional scale matters.   March 30, 2020.

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

COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

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

THE OIL PRICE COLLAPSE COULD RESHAPE GLOBAL NATURAL GAS MARKETS March 27, 2020

THE OIL PRICE COLLAPSE COULD RESHAPE GLOBAL NATURAL GAS MARKETS

The inability of Russia and Saudi Arabia to agree on production quotas for countries that are not part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (referred to as OPEC+ countries), and the subsequent price collapse in oil markets, promises to reshape global energy markets. The timing is not good. The demand shock from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic (commonly known as COVID-19) has led the International Energy Agency to estimate that 2020 will see the first contraction in oil demand since the Great Recession. The causes and consequences of the oil price drop have been well discussed. However, the impact on other energy markets, particularly global liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets, is relatively under covered and more nuanced. March 27, 2020.

THESE IMAGES SHOW THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON ELECTRICITY DEMAND IN CHINESE CITIES March 25, 2020

THESE IMAGES SHOW THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON ELECTRICITY DEMAND IN CHINESE CITIES

The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes (COVID-19) have caused significant disruptions to markets around the world since the virus was first identified in Wuhan City in China in late 2019.  In the energy sector, the impact has been most apparent in the dramatic fall in oil demand in China.  The Payne Institute’s Earth Observation Group is using satellite images to view the decrease in electricity usage in key Chinese cities due to COVID-19.  March 25, 2020.

PAYNE INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY – ENERGY RESEARCHER POSITION AVAILABLE March 25, 2020

PAYNE INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY – ENERGY RESEARCHER POSITION AVAILABLE

Energy Researcher sought for full-time position at the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines.  The research will focus on multi-dimensional aspects of energy and development. Analyzing the energy industry’s dual challenge of reducing environmental impacts while also satisfying increasing demand from emerging economies, and how this affects markets, trade, security, geopolitics, and technology development. The successful applicant will also provide mentorship to graduate and undergraduate students on the project; maintaining an accepting work environment; and assisting with research group communications.  March 25, 2020.

How To Make The Economic Stimulus Great March 24, 2020

HOW TO MAKE THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS GREAT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has both public health and economic dimensions and the two are deeply interconnected. Some consensus on various key policy stages are emerging from initial lock-downs, from ensuring massive testing and mobilization of manufacturing for items like ventilators and personal protection equipment, to emergency stabilization, and economic stimulus. March 24, 2020.

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

LEANING IN: MOVING AHEAD OF REGULATIONS FOR NATURAL GAS EMISSIONS

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

The Complex Policy Questions Raised by Nuclear Energy’s Role in the Future of Warfare March 16, 2020

THE COMPLEX POLICY QUESTIONS RAISED BY NUCLEAR ENERGY’S ROLE IN THE FUTURE OF WARFARE

The United States military, as well as other militaries around the world, are racing to develop high-energy weapons—lasers, high-powered microwaves, and electromagnetic rail guns—in order to compete with near-peer competitors on the next generation of military technologies. But the electricity to power these systems will need to derive from somewhere, and so military planners are eyeing a new generation of energy-dense nuclear reactors, despite potential policy and legal challenges to doing so. March 16, 2020.

COVID-19 IS A REMINDER THAT INTERCONNECTIVITY IS UNAVOIDABLE March 13, 2020

COVID-19 IS A REMINDER THAT INTERCONNECTIVITY IS UNAVOIDABLE

The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a disaster for the economy, shown weaknesses in public health systems, and killed several thousand people worldwide. It has also made clear how interconnected the modern world has become. Walls are futile for preventing the rapid movement of the virus around the globe. March 12, 2020. 

OIL PRICE COLLAPSE COULD CUT DEEPLY INTO WELD COUNTY JOBS, TAX REVENUE March 9, 2020

OIL PRICE COLLAPSE COULD CUT DEEPLY INTO WELD COUNTY JOBS, TAX REVENUE

As Occidental Petroleum, county’s largest oil producer, loses half its stock price Monday; a series of oil announcements halfway around the world has cratered global oil prices, and they could reverberate through Weld County’s economy and tax coffers over the next several years.  March 9, 2020. 

MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – A THIRST FOR POWER March 9, 2020

MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – A THIRST FOR POWER

Mines Energy Future podcast featuring Michael Webber, Chief Science & Technology Officer, ENGIE with Ashley Spurgeon, Editor, Mines Communications, and Greg Clough, Strategy & Operations Manager, Payne Institute. March 9, 2020. 

Solar has greater techno-economic resource suitability than wind for replacing coal mining jobs 3/6/2020

SOLAR HAS GREATER TECHNO-ECONOMIC RESOURCE SUITABILITY THAN WIND FOR REPLACING COAL MINING JOBS

Payne Institute Fellow Hisham Zerriffi and collaborators write about how coal mining directly employs over 7 million workers and benefits millions more through indirect jobs. However, to meet the 1.5 °C global climate target, coal’s share in global energy supply should decline between 73% and 97% by 2050. But what will happen to coal miners as coal jobs disappear? Answering this question is necessary to ensure a just transition and to ensure that politically powerful coal mining interests do not impede energy transitions.  March 6, 2020.  

REVIEWING THE MATERIAL AND METAL SECURITY OF LOW-CARBON ENERGY TRANSITIONS March 4, 2020

REVIEWING THE MATERIAL AND METAL SECURITY OF LOW-CARBON ENERGY TRANSITIONS  

The global transition to a low-carbon economy will involve changes in material markets and supply chains on a hitherto unknown scale and scope. With these changes come numerous challenges and opportunities related to supply chain security and sustainability. To help support decision-making as well as future research, this study employs a problem-oriented perspective while reviewing academic publications, technical reports, legal documents, and published industry data to highlight the increasingly interconnected nature of material needs and geopolitical change. The paper considers a broad set of issues including technologies, material supplies, investment strategies, communal concerns, innovations, modeling considerations, and policy trends to help contextualize policy decisions and regulatory responses. March 4, 2020. 

CONSIDERING NON-POWER GENERATION USES OF COAL IN THE UNITED STATES March 2, 2020

CONSIDERING NON-POWER GENERATION USES OF COAL IN THE UNITED STATES 

The economics of alternatives to coal combustion, coupled with concerns about coal’s significant role in climate change emissions and air pollution, have put intense downward pressure on coal markets, especially in the United States. As coal power generation in much of the world is declining (China being the largest exception), there is renewed interest in how to sustainably, and effectively, use coal without combusting it. A non-exhaustive review of various possible uses for coal across the chemical and material sectors, is provided. March 2, 2020. 

Power Grab: Political Survival through Extractive Resource Nationalization 3/2020

POWER GRAB: POLITICAL SURVIVAL THROUGH EXTRACTIVE RESOURCE NATIONALIZATION 

Payne Fellow Paasha Mahdavi has written a new book titled Power Grab: Political Survival through Extractive Resource Nationalization.  The book is about the political calculus behind extractive resource nationalization, with a focus on the oil industry but with implications for minerals needed for the clean energy transition. March 2020.

A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OF ENERGY ACCESS WITH A FOCUS ON THE ROLE OF MINI-GRIDS February 27, 2020

A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OF ENERGY ACCESS WITH A FOCUS ON THE ROLE OF MINI-GRIDS  

Achieving universal access to electricity by 2030 is a key part of the Agenda for Sustainable Development, and has its own Sustainable Development Goal, SDG 7.1. This is because electricity services are required for almost all aspects of a modern economy, from the cooling of vaccines to irrigation pumping, to manufacturing and running a business. The achievement of SDG 7.1 will require a thoughtful mix of policy, finance, and technology to be designed and implemented at scale. February 27, 2020.

PODCAST – THE 5 W’S OF THE PAYNE INSTITUTE – WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, AND WHY February 26, 2020

PODCAST – THE 5 W’S OF THE PAYNE INSTITUTE – WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, AND WHY  

A new Payne Institute Mines Energy Future podcast. Director Morgan Bazilian discusses the Payne Institute and Colorado School of Mines’ perspective on the global energy future. Highlights includes how the Payne Institute is influencing public policy through collaboration, partnerships, and a solutions oriented approach.  February 26, 2020.

CONNECTING THE CONTINENTS – A GLOBAL POWER GRID February 25, 2020

CONNECTING THE CONTINENTS – A GLOBAL POWER GRID

Payne Fellow Paul Deane writes about the dream of a globally connected power grid that was once the stuff of science fiction. But today with powerful computer software, open data and international collaboration the concept of a global grid is moving one step closer to reality. February 25, 2020.

PART 2: HOW AUCTIONS HELPED SOLAR BECOME THE CHEAPEST ELECTRICITY IN THE WORLD February 25, 2020

PART 2: HOW AUCTIONS HELPED SOLAR BECOME THE CHEAPEST ELECTRICITY IN THE WORLD  

This article is the second installment in a two-part series. Unit-cost solar electricity for less than two US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) is the cheapest electricity in the world, but most of the recent ultra-low bids in the global solar market likely required the stars to align to breach this barrier. Using very high efficiency or bifacial modules in some of the sunniest parts of the world, combined with aggressive forward module pricing and system cost assumptions, a transparent and supportive national policy environment, and access to concessional terms for finance, taxes, land, or labor, has driven capital expenditures down significantly.   February 25, 2020.

BAYSWATER COMMITS TO CONDUCT CONTINUOUS AIR MONITORING AT COLORADO OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION SITES February 24, 2020

BAYSWATER COMMITS TO CONDUCT CONTINUOUS AIR MONITORING AT COLORADO OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION SITES  

The Payne Institute and Project Canary announce a partnership with Bayswater Exploration and Production for continuous air emissions monitoring for its Colorado operations. Bayswater chose to engage with Payne and Project Canary because of the tremendous learning opportunity it provides them to know even more about improving the efficiency of their operations so that they can engage more effectively with the communities where they operate and the regulators who oversee their activities.  February 24, 2020.

PART 1: HOW AUCTIONS HELPED SOLAR BECOME THE CHEAPEST ELECTRICITY IN THE WORLD February 24, 2020

PART 1: HOW AUCTIONS HELPED SOLAR BECOME THE CHEAPEST ELECTRICITY IN THE WORLD  

This article is the first installment in a two-part series. The global energy transition has reached an inflection point. In numerous markets, the declining cost of solar photovoltaics (PV) has already beaten the cost of new-build coal and natural gas and is now chasing down operating costs of existing thermal power plants, forcing a growing crowd of thermal generation assets into early retirement. Perfect comparability between dispatchable and non-dispatchable resources invites debate, but the cost declines in solar PV are irrefutable: the global average unit cost of competitively-procured solar electricity declined by 83 percent from 2010 to 2018.  February 24, 2020.

 

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