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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Payne Institute experts are regional, national, and international leaders in applied research in natural resources, energy, and the environment. Our team is involved in a wide variety of research projects in these fields, and are committed to sharing these results with academic and professional audiences.
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.