Payne Institute to Convene Talks on Differentiated Gas Verification Standards in Collaboration with EEMDL Research Partnership
Sept. 28, 2023, Golden, Colo. – As part of its ongoing work with the Energy Emissions Modeling and Data Lab (EEMDL), the Payne institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines is commencing a new stakeholder dialogue focused on the independent verification of standards and other governance issues in the rapidly evolving differentiated gas market.
Mines is a founding member of EEMDL, which was established in early 2023 to improve the accuracy of greenhouse gas measurement and accounting across global energy supply chains, starting with methane emissions. EEMDL brings together researchers from Mines with other experts at the University of Texas at Austin and Colorado State University.
EEMDL is developing peer-reviewed, transparent, high-resolution and measurement-based models for methane emissions reporting. The 5-year, $50 million research initiative is also bringing together technical experts from across the energy and environmental spectrum to participate actively in the process.
“The models, datasets and other data science tools in development at EEMDL will promote consistency and build trust in the methane data reported by companies, regulatory bodies, NGOs and other stakeholders,” said Morgan Bazilian, Director of the Payne Institute.
“But as those tools become available, how should they be used, and who will decide if they are being used properly to support claims of low methane-intensity and the other environmental and social attributes of differentiated natural gas? Those are fundamentally questions of public policy. We believe there is a need to bring stakeholders together to look for areas of agreement and present clear recommendations to policymakers and market participants,” Bazilian concluded.
“By bringing together three universities as founders, EEMDL can tackle both the technical challenges of greenhouse gas accounting and the policy questions surrounding the structure and operation of differentiated gas markets,” said Arvind Ravikumar EEMDL Co-Director and a faculty member of the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. “The Payne Institute at Mines is ideally positioned to convene stakeholders in those policy discussions in parallel with EEMDL’s process of developing peer-reviewed models and other data science tools,” Ravikumar concluded.
Recent advances in technology allow for much greater monitoring and measurement of energy supply chain emissions in real time. These technological solutions include: On-site sensors, drones, aircraft and satellites. Challenges remain in translating large volumes of snapshot measurement data into useful information relevant to corporate reporting, public policy, or international trade.
Buyers and sellers in natural gas markets are seeking detailed information about methane emissions and there is growing interest in other attributes such as water intensity and local community and land use impacts. The most visible example is the European Union’s proposed methane intensity benchmark for imported natural gas, including shipments of U.S. liquefied natural gas. However, a growing number of privately developed standards for measuring and certifying differentiated gas products are being used in connection with utility contracts, FERC tariff discussions, and export/import contracts.
The Payne Institute’s stakeholder process – the work group on Verification, Certification, and Governance of an Effective Global Differentiated Gas Framework – will be one of a series of stakeholder work groups focused on the growing market for differentiated natural gas. It builds on the work of the institute’s inaugural Responsible Gas Symposium, held in March 2023.
A synthesis report from the March 2023 symposium can be found here. The Payne Institute’s second Responsible Gas Symposium is scheduled for March 2024 on the Mines campus in Golden, Colo.
ABOUT THE PAYNE INSTITUTE
The Payne Institute for Public Policy is an in-house think tank at the Colorado School of Mines. Through multidisciplinary collaboration across the Mines campus, the institute provides world-class insights to help inform and shape public policy on earth resources, energy, and the environment.
The Energy Emissions Modeling and Data Lab (EEMDL) is a multi-disciplinary research and education center with a mission to be the global data and analytics hub to support improved greenhouse gas emissions accounting across energy supply chains.