Research

Frozen Out in Texas: Blackouts and Inequity 4/14/2021

Frozen Out in Texas: Blackouts and Inequity

JP Carvallo, Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Researcher Feng Chi Hsu,  Zeal Shah, and Jay Taneja write about how in February, blackouts in the Texas power grid left over 4.5 million customers in the dark, many of them for several days. A substantial amount of these blackouts were transmission disconnections and emergency load shedding events triggered by ERCOT, the entity in charge of ensuring a reliable supply of electricity in Texas. In this analysis, we use satellite data on nighttime lights to track blackouts at the census block group (CBG) level and correlate it with demographic data to understand how equitable these blackouts were.  April 14, 2021.

Optimality versus reality: Closing the gap between renewable energy decision models and government deployment in the United States 4/12/2021

Optimality versus reality: Closing the gap between renewable energy decision models and government deployment in the United States

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Kate Anderson, Maggie Nevrly, Emma Elgqvist, and Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian write about the energy decision models that are widely used to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of renewable energy, as well as to help inform the deployment of these technologies. However, a gap exists between the optimal model solutions and what is deployed. April 12, 2021.

Comparative Analysis of Selected African Natural Gas Markets and Related Policies

Comparative Analysis of Selected African Natural Gas Markets and Related Policies

John Ayaburi, Shashwat Sharma, Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Dr. Greer Gosnell, and Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about the discovery of natural gas resources across the African continent that have inspired debate on how such resources should be developed and best utilized. In several African countries, the discovery of commercial quantities of natural gas reserves has led governments to explore a number of strategies, investments, and policy directions. Two contrasting cases are that of Nigeria, which has pursued policies promoting domestic natural gas consumption and export, and Ghana, which has focused on encouraging sectoral-level domestic consumption.  April 5, 2021.

Mobilizing Investment for Clean Energy in Emerging Economies 4/1/2021

Mobilizing Investment for Clean Energy in Emerging Economies

The Payne Institute is proud to be a partner organization with the World Economic Forum on their new initiative Mobilizing Investment for Clean Energy in Emerging Economies. Accelerating clean energy transitions is a global imperative for the world to address the climate emergency. The decarbonization of energy production and use will require trillions of dollars to be invested in the deployment of new clean energy capacity and energy efficiency, as well as to retire existing carbon-intensive energy infrastructure that would otherwise lock-in emissions for decades. April 1, 2021.

CARGO VESSELS WAITING TO PASS THE SUEZ CANAL DOUBLED IN 24 HOURS 3/26/2021

CARGO VESSELS WAITING TO PASS THE SUEZ CANAL DOUBLED IN 24 HOURS

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Feng Chi Hsu looks at the Ever Given, one of the largest cargo vessels in operation, that has been stuck in the Suez Canal for days, via satellite.  The vessel blocks the two-way traffic of the canal, which has caused the number of cargo vessels waiting to pass through the canal to double in 24 hours from March 25th to 26th, 2021.  March 26, 2021.

The rise of electric vehicles—2020 status and future expectations 3/25/2021

The rise of electric vehicles—2020 status and future expectations

Matteo Muratori, Marcus Alexander, Doug Arent, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Ercan M. Dede, John Farrell, Chis Gearhart, David Greene, Alan Jenn, Matthew Keyser, Timothy Lipman, Sreekant Narumanchi, Ahmad Pesaran, Ramteen Sioshansi, Emilia Suomalainen, Gil Tal, Kevin Walkowicz, and Jacob Ward wrote this article about how electric vehicles (EVs) are experiencing a rise in popularity over the past few years as the technology has matured and costs have declined, and support for clean transportation has promoted awareness, increased charging opportunities, and facilitated EV adoption.  This detailed review paints a positive picture for the future of EVs for on-road transportation, and the authors remain hopeful that remaining technology, regulatory, societal, behavioral, and business-model barriers can be addressed over time to support a transition toward cleaner, more efficient, and affordable transportation solutions for all.  March 25, 2021.

The material foundations of a low-carbon economy 3/19/2021

The material foundations of a low-carbon economy

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee, Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the transition to a low-carbon environment is rapidly accelerating and with it the potential for severe environmental and social degradation. The extraction and processing of key materials have already begun to affect developing economies, and policy changes are essential to ensuring a just transition.  March 19, 2021.

Why don’t environmental bonds fully cover reclamation costs? 3/17/2021

Why don’t environmental bonds fully cover reclamation costs?

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Graham Davis and Peifang Yang write about how governments often require that extractive industry firms post environmental bonds as financial assurance to cover eventual reclamation liabilities. Such bond requirements frequently do not fully cover the reclamation cost. We show that a revenue-maximizing government may reasonably require a bond amount smaller than the full reclamation cost.  March 17, 2021.  

Annual Time Series of Global VIIRS Nighttime Lights Derived from Monthly Averages: 2012 to 2019 3.2.2021

Annual Time Series of Global VIIRS Nighttime Lights Derived from Monthly Averages 2012 to 2019

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group researchers Director Christopher Elvidge, Mikhail Zhizhin, Tilottama Ghosh, Feng-Chi Hsu, and Jay Taneja have released their new research – a consistently processed annual global nighttime lights time series (2012–2019) that was produced using monthly cloud-free radiance averages made from low light imaging day/night band (DNB) data collected by the NASA/NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The processing steps are modified from the original methods developed to produce annual nighttime lights products from nightly data. Only two years of VIIRS nighttime lights (VNL) were produced with the V.1 methods: 2015 and 2016. Here they report on methods used to produce a V.2 VNL time series from the monthly averages with filtering to remove extraneous features such as biomass burning, aurora, and background.  March 2, 2021.

Mt. Etna Erupts 4 Times in Four Days 2/26/2021

Mt. Etna Erupts 4 Times in Four Days

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student worker Elijah Mt. Castle writes about how Mt. Etna, in the Sicilian province of Catania, has been intermediately erupting for four days now. The eruptions began on February 16th 2021. At this time the volcano is no danger to any of the surrounding villages and the lava is flowing into the uninhabited valley below the summit.  February 26, 2021.

Understanding and Disrupting Key Convergence Nodes of the Illicit Gold and Mercury Supply Chains in Latin America and Africa 2/18/2021

Understanding and Disrupting Key Convergence Nodes of the Illicit Gold and Mercury Supply Chains in Latin America and Africa

Payne Institute Faculty Fellows Nicole Smith, Sebnem Duzgun, Strategy and Operations Manager Greg Clough, William Soud, and Katy Seguin have received an NSF award for their research on “Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks (D-ISN)” that will enhance national health, prosperity and welfare by contributing to a better understanding of illicit supply chains and the ability to detect, disrupt, and disable them. The project involves an examination and comparison of key convergence nodes in the global supply chains for illicit gold and mercury in Latin America and Africa. It specifically focuses on Peru and Kenya because of the similar characteristics they share on their respective continents as important trading hubs to other regional markets via both air and maritime transport, as well as acting as trading hubs for other illicit commodities and goods.  February 18, 2021.

Climate change and industrial F-gases: A critical and systematic review of developments, sociotechnical systems and policy options for reducing synthetic greenhouse gas emissions 2/13/2021

Climate change and industrial F-gases: A critical and systematic review of developments, sociotechnical systems and policy options for reducing synthetic greenhouse gas emissions

Benjamin K. Sovacool, Payne Institute Fellow Steve Griffiths, Jinsoo Kim, and Morgan Bazilian write about how humanity has come to depend on synthetic, factory made gases that have extremely significant global warming potential. Fluorinated greenhouse gases, or F-gases, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) have been termed “super pollutants” and “super greenhouse gases” given their severe and powerful impact on the climate.   February 13, 2021.

Gravity Wave over United States 2/7/2021

Gravity Wave over United States

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student worker Elijah Mt. Castle has detected a propagation of a gravity wave in cloud cover over the Eastern United States. A gravity wave is a wave generated in a fluid by the force of gravity or buoyancy attempting to restore equilibrium in the medium, i.e. the waves are caused by the fluid attempting to return to its resting place.   February 7, 2021.

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO BECOMES ACTIVE ONCE MORE 2/3/2021

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO BECOMES ACTIVE ONCE MORE

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student worker Elijah Mt. Castle looks at the Hawaiian volcano Kīlauea that has become active. Kīlauea has been erupting since December 30th 2020. All lava flows are currently in the uninhabited lava lake and pose no threat. Kīlauea last erupted in 2018, when it erupted for 3 months straight. It was believed that a volcano the size of Kīlauea would only stop erupting when it was out of magma. February 3, 2021.

RAISING GLOBAL ENERGY AMBITIONS: THE 1,000 KWH MODERN ENERGY MINIMUM 1/26/2021

RAISING GLOBAL ENERGY AMBITIONS: THE 1,000 KWH MODERN ENERGY MINIMUM

Payne Institute Fellows Todd Moss, Johannes Urpelainen, Director Morgan Bazilian, and others write about how energy is fundamental to modern living and any competitive prosperous economy. The SDG7 calls for modern energy for all, but the indicator for tracking progress against this goal is meeting a very low level of residential electricity consumption.  They propose a new Modern Energy Minimum of 1,000 kWh per person per year, inclusive of both household and non-household electricity consumption.  January 26, 2021.

A Big Year for Transformational Change 1/25/2021

A Big Year for Transformational Change

Payne Institute Fellow Dolf Gielen and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how despite the virus, 2020 was a great year for climate commitments. While COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, was postponed to 2021, many large economies announced net-zero emissions goals for mid-century. 2021 will be the year that these ambitions need to be translated into action.  January 25, 2021.

Rethinking energy solutions: Energy demand and decentralized solutions 1/22/2021

Rethinking Energy Solutions: Energy demand and decentralized solutions

Payne Institute Fellow Dolf Gielen, Advisory Board member David Victor, and Director Morgan Bazilian and others collaborated on this paper that identified three areas for rethinking energy solutions for immediate action. All three are designed to address the drivers of demand and consumption through measures like remote working, digitalization, and the reshaping of urban spaces and their use; maximizing sustainable energy independence at local and individual levels through, for instance, decentralized renewable energy solutions and efficiency enhancing measures; and influencing behavior towards responsible consumption such as encouraging new trends in mobility, less material consumption, and sharing vs. ownership models.  January 22, 2021.  

Changing behaviour is the key to solving the climate challenge 1/21/2021

Changing behaviour is the key to solving the climate challenge

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how American citizens in their everyday lives are driving 40–50% of US emissions. How can policymakers encourage choices—from household energy efficiency investments to vehicle purchases—that are consistent with climate goals?  January 21, 2021.  

Initial Findings from Continuous Monitoring of Oil and Gas Operations 1/13/2021

Initial Findings from Continuous Monitoring of Oil and Gas Operations

Payne Institute Researcher William Daniels, Faculty Fellows James Crompton and Dorit Hammerling, and Director Morgan Bazilian look at the wide deployment of air quality monitoring technology, we can better address greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry. There is considerable public pressure, industry engagement, and government regulation surrounding the push for more sophisticated and transparent monitoring. While much focus has been given to the technological development of monitoring devices and the use of airplane and LDAR resources, less focus has been given to the data acquisition, management, and analysis from these monitoring technologies. This paper presents an exploratory analysis of continuous monitoring data from two oil and gas sites in Colorado.  January 13, 2021.

COUNTRY WIDE POWER OUTAGE IN PAKISTAN 1/11/2021

COUNTRY WIDE POWER OUTAGE IN PAKISTAN

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group’s Feng Chi Hsu and Elijah Mt. Castle satellite research showed that Pakistan’s national power grid experienced a blackout lasting 18 hours in most areas. The power failure was caused by “an engineering fault” in southern Pakistan. The fault engaged safety systems across the grid and shut down the power plants across the country. The blackout left millions of people in the dark.  January 11, 2021.  

Progress towards a circular economy in materials to decarbonize electricity and mobility 12/11/2020

Progress towards a circular economy in materials to decarbonize electricity and mobility

Payne Institute Fellows Dustin Mulvaney, Sridhar Seetharaman, Director Morgan D.Bazilian, Strategy and Operations Manager Greg Clough, Ryan M.Richards, and Erin Hensley write about how over 90% of the global economy continues to use natural resources unsustainably. The linear “take-make-toss” approach to materials use still prevails over circular economy and industrial ecology ideas in practice. The shift to renewable energy is one step towards building an economy on more circular material flows. But the materials needed to decarbonize electricity and mobility are supplied by mining and extractives industries, places where impacts from natural resource extraction can be most severe. Manufacturers of wind turbines, photovoltaics, batteries and vehicles—critical technologies to the clean energy transition—still primarily rely on feedstocks and inputs from natural resources as opposed to waste for processing and production. December 11, 2020.  

5 years after Paris: How countries’ climate policies match up to their promises, and who’s aiming for net zero emissions 12/10/2020

5 years after Paris: How countries’ climate policies match up to their promises, and who’s aiming for net zero emissions

Payne Institute Fellow Dolf Gielen and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how bold visions for slowing global warming have emerged from all over the world. Less clear is how countries will meet them, as this month marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement – the commitment by almost every country to try to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.  December 10, 2020.

THE ROAD TO NET-ZERO FINANCE 12/9/2020

The road to Net-Zero Finance

Payne Institute Fellow Ben Caldecott was part of the Advisory Group on Finance for the UK’s Climate Change Committee that prepared this report The Road to Net-Zero that critically assesses the UK financial system’s ability to deliver a Net Zero target. The report comprises independent advice of a panel of experts from world-leading financial institutions to the Climate Change Committee to accompany its Sixth Carbon Budget.  December 9, 2020.  

Peru’s Environmental and Social Management in the Gold Mining Sector in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic 12/9/2020

Peru’s Environmental and Social Management in the Gold Mining Sector in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Nicole Smith, Kristi Disney Bruckner, Ashley Smith-Roberts, Verónica Morelli Bellido, Hugo Frías Ossandón, Meera Nyak, and Linda Jaramillo Urrego write a case study on how Peru is a leading source of gold in the world and is the top producer of gold in Latin America. The country’s legal framework for environmental and social management of the mining sector, including both the large-scale mining sector and the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector, is often presented as good practice. However, implementation of the legal framework has been challenging due to lack of resources, complexity of the framework, lack of alignment across national frameworks, lack of ongoing collaboration across ministries, remoteness of mining areas, and other factors. December 9, 2020.

Energy and environment If you build it, they will electrify? 12/7/2020

Energy and environment – If you build it, they will electrify?

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Dr. Sara Hastings-Simon writes about how electric vehicle (EV) sales are rising sharply around the world but the impact on total stock of vehicles to date remains modest. An examination of the growing number of EV model types available suggests this is likely to change soon as the availability of EV models is both a reflection of the degree of commitment of auto manufacturers, as well as a driver of overall sales. December 7, 2020. 

Sustainable Energy Transitions: Socio-Ecological Dimensions of Decarbonization 12/3/2020

Sustainable Energy Transitions: Socio-Ecological Dimensions of Decarbonization

Payne Institute Fellow Dustin Mulvaney has published a new book titled Sustainable Energy Transitions: Socio-Ecological Dimensions of Decarbonization.  This textbook introduces the key concepts that underpin sustainable energy transitions. Starting with the basic biophysical principles, current sources and environmental consequences of existing energy resource use, the book takes readers through the key questions and topics needed to understand, prescribe, and advocate just and sustainable energy solutions.  December 3, 2020.

Foreword to the Special Issue on Advances in Remote Sensing of Nighttime Lights: Progresses, Challenges, and Perspectives 12/3/2020

Foreword to the Special Issue on Advances in Remote Sensing of Nighttime Lights: Progresses, Challenges, and Perspectives

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Director Dr. Christopher Elvidge, Bailang Yu, Yuyu Zhou, Christopher Small, and Zuoqi Chen are editors for the special issue that focus’ on the technology of nighttime sensor lighting. Nighttime light (NTL) data provides unique observations of our Earth and receives increasing attentions from a variety of fields such as remote sensing, GIS, and urban planning. Since 1990s, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program— Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) NTL data have been explored to monitor human activities. Recently, new NTL satellites such as NPP-VIIRS, International Space Station (ISS), EROS-B, Jilin 1-3B, and Luojia 1-01, with better spatial and temporal resolutions, and even multispectral information, have been launched. December 3, 2020.

A MILLION HECTARES BURNED IN BOLIVIA 11/24/2020

A MILLION HECTARES BURNED IN BOLIVIA

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student worker Elijah Mt. Castle writes about the fire season that has been devastating across the world. Bolivia has reported that 1.4 million hectares of land have been burned from forest fires this year. As of October 8th there are 57 active wildfires in the country. Bolivian officials have opened over 450 cases against individuals accused of starting various fires. 20 of these cases are criminal charges. November 24, 2020.

Satellite Imagery Used for Electricity Consumption Forecasting in Africa For the First Time in New Service 11/24/2020

Satellite Imagery Used for Electricity Consumption Forecasting in Africa For the First Time in New Service

The Payne Institute is a proud partner with the Rockefeller Foundation in providing satellite imagery from our Earth Observation Group for the Electricity Consumption Prediction service for Africa that has been launched today by the e-GUIDE Initiative. The service, which will be freely available, provides estimates of future electricity consumption at high spatial resolution, and combines satellite imagery with historic and big data sources. The service improves the planning and provision of electricity towards ending energy poverty, helping to direct investments and scale projects that support the economic recovery of communities devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The e-GUIDE Initiative is a collaboration between The Rockefeller Foundation, UMass Amherst, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Colorado School of Mines.  November 24, 2020.  

Local-content rules for renewables projects don’t always work 11/16/2020

Local-content rules for renewables projects don’t always work

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Victoria Cuming, and Thomas Kenyon write about some countries with large renewables markets have sought to create domestic supply chains and jobs by implementing local-content requirements. The focus is on three key renewables markets with local-content requirements – Brazil, India and South Africa – and analyze whether these rules have helped create local manufacturing capacity or benefited local companies.  November 16, 2020.

Flare capture offers easy wins 11/12/2020

Flare capture offers easy wins

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, John-Henry Charles, and Mark Davis write about how reducing gas flaring can both accelerate progress to net-zero and offer a swift boost to industry credibility. Increasing commitments to a ‘net-zero’ society—be it by 2050, 2060 or a sooner or later date—pose both a generational challenge and an existential threat to oil and gas producers. There will be no more ‘business as usual’, but firms must also deliver more in environmental terms while grappling with reductions in their size and access to capital. November 12, 2020.

7 ways the mining sector can prepare for the coming economic era 11/9/2020

7 ways the mining sector can prepare for the coming economic era

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Jordy Lee writes about  how the mining and metals industry is facing an unprecedented paradigm shift as it begins to implement new technologies while also managing climate and social challenges. Through raising awareness of these issues, and by focusing on new digital solutions, growing material demand, and investor pressures, the industry can strengthen its foundational role in a rapidly evolving global economy.  November 9, 2020.

CREEK FIRE CONTAINMENT DATE PUSHED BACK 11/4/2020

CREEK FIRE CONTAINMENT DATE PUSHED BACK

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group reports that the California fire season is well underway. The Creek Fire has been burning since September 4th. The fire is now the largest single fire in California history. Over 900 structures have been damaged or destroyed and the fire has caused 45,000 people to be evacuated from surrounding areas.  November 4, 2020.

EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GROWS OVER 100,000 ACRES OVERNIGHT 10/25/2020

EAST TROUBLESOME FIRE GROWS OVER 100,000 ACRES OVERNIGHT

Payne Institute Mines student worker Elijah Mt. Castle utilized the Earth Observation Group VIIRS Nightfire technology to see that the East Troublesome Fire grew over 100,000 acres overnight October 21. The fire is threatening various towns and national parks in the area and is currently the fourth largest fire in Colorado History.  October 25, 2020.

Battery Storage for Resilient Homes 10/20/2020

Battery Storage for Resilient Homes

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian and Emon Chatterji write about small-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS), especially for behind-the-meter applications, that are still relatively expensive, but we show that it can be a potent solution to render homes resilient to storm related power outages. We present a stochastic programming model formulation to optimize PV/BESS explicitly accounting for resilience benefits these investments entail, over and above their ability to reduce cost of supply.  October 20, 2020.

Sebnem Duzgun one of the 100 Resilience Fellows of the Resilience Engineering (RE) community 10/14/2020

Sebnem Duzgun one of the 100 Resilience Fellows of the Resilience Engineering (RE) community

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Sebnem Duzgun has been appointed appointed as one of the 100 Resilience Fellows of the Resilience Engineering (RE) community!  As a resilience Fellow, Dr. Dugun is now part of the 4TU-programme DeSIRE which was set-up by the 4TU.RE Centre. The 4TU.DeSIRE programme and the 4TU.RE Centre aim to establish and foster an international network of top-level academic scholars, engineers, practitioners and decision-makers who serve as ambassadors of the RE paradigm.  October 14, 2020.  

Responsible or reckless? A critical review of the environmental and climate assessments of mineral supply chains 10/13/2020

Responsible or reckless? A critical review of the environmental and climate assessments of mineral supply chains

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Jordy Lee, Director Morgan Bazilian, Ben Sovacool, and Suzanne Greene write a paper that critically reviews and identifies gaps in the methodologies used to analyze the environmental impacts of mineral and metal global supply chains. Of specific focus are assessments of the extraction and production of minerals and metals needed for a low-carbon energy future. Current trends and projections suggest that the future low-carbon energy system will have greater material needs than the current one. October 13, 2020.

Indicators of Electric Power Instability from Satellite Observed Nighttime Lights 9/30/2020

Indicators of Electric Power Instability from Satellite Observed Nighttime Lights

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group writes about how electric power services are fundamental to prosperity and economic development. Disruptions in the electricity power service can range from minutes to days. Such events are common in many developing economies, where the power generation and delivery infrastructure is often insufficient to meet demand and operational challenges. Yet, despite the large impacts, poor data availability has meant that relatively little is known about the spatial and temporal patterns of electric power reliability. Here, we explore the expressions of electric power instability recorded in temporal profiles of satellite observed surface lighting collected by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) low light imaging day/night band (DNB). September 30, 2020.  

Chinese Fishing Fleet Threatens Biodiversity in Galapagos 9/29/2020

Chinese Fishing Fleet Threatens Biodiversity in Galapagos

Payne Institute Mines student worker Elijah Mt. Castle worked with the Earth Observation Group utilized VIIRS Nightfire technology to see a a fishing fleet hailing from China that has been forced away from the Galapagos Islands by Ecuador’s navy. In recent years, Chinese fishing vessels have begun fishing for giant squid during the summer near the protected area of the Galapagos islands. This year’s fleet was the largest on record, according to Rear Admiral Daniel Ginez, the Ecuadorian Commander of Naval Operations. September 29, 2020.

Strategic Intelligence – Mining and Metals 9/23/2020

Strategic Intelligence – Mining and Metals

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Jordy Lee has documented the paradigm shift in the mining and metals industry, as it incorporates greater sustainability, absorbs technical innovation from other sectors, and seeks a way forward in the midst of a pandemic. By focussing on modernization, digitalization, and transparency, the industry can strengthen its foundational role in a rapidly evolving global economy. However, effectively managing related changes will require greater adaptability, transformative thinking, and building stronger relationships in a global context.  September 23, 2020. 

Podcast – Space Resources: Exploring the Final Frontier, with Alex Gilbert 9/22/2020

Space Resources Podcast: Exploring the Final Frontier, with Alex Gilbert

Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert is on the Resources Radio podcast discussing the emerging field of space resources development. Although essential resources likely are plentiful on the moon, Mars, and elsewhere in outer space, we have less certainty over where, precisely, these resources are; what technology is necessary to extract them; and what types of economic development are legally permissible in outer space. Still, Gilbert contends that boundless opportunities exist for commercial exploration outside Earth—and that the United States, with its innovative rocket companies and long-running government space agency, could be the nation that leads the way.  September 22, 2020.  

Colorado School of Mines launches Integrated Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Initiative 9/18/2020

Colorado School of Mines launches Integrated Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Initiative

Led by the Payne Institute for Public Policy and the Mines’ Office of Global Initiatives, the Integrated CCUS initiative will be interdisciplinary across Mines departments.  Global interest in carbon capture, utilization and storage is unprecedented as one of the key strategies for addressing climate change. The need for detailed scientific and engineering research, coupled with cross-cutting work on policy, markets and regulation of the technology is equally critical.  September 18, 2020.

Cameron Peak Fire in Colorado 9/15/2020

Cameron Peak Fire in Colorado

Payne Institute Mines student workers Joseph Hall and Elijah Mt. Castle worked with the Earth Observation Group utilized VIIRS Nightfire technology to not only pinpoint fire hotspots, but accurately calculate average temperatures of the flames within the Cameron Peak Fire in Larimer County, Colorado, just outside of Estes Park, and about 60 miles from The Payne Institute for Public Policy headquarters in Golden. September 15, 2020.

Mines researcher contributing to $4M DOE project for energy-efficient steelmaking 9/9/2020

Mines researcher contributing to $4M DOE project for energy-efficient steelmaking

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Sridhar Seetharaman has been awarded a $4 million dollar grant to prove the economic viability of increased renewal energy usage in steel production.  Researchers believe the de-carbonization of the steel industry can be achieved by connecting ironmaking to renewable electric power through electrolytically produced hydrogen.  September 9, 2020.

3.5 BILLION PEOPLE LACK RELIABLE POWER 9/8/2020

3.5 BILLION PEOPLE LACK RELIABLE POWER

Payne Fellow Todd Moss, Morgan Bazilian, Jacob Kincer, and John Ayaburi write about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 that commits the world to ending energy poverty by “ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.” The dominant measurement of progress against SDG7 is the access rate, which measures the number of people with basic household electricity. There is no accepted international indicator for reliability. A new approach will help to fill this gap. September 8, 2020.

The Dimming of Lights in China during the COVID-19 Pandemic 9/7/2020

The Dimming of Lights in China during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group research on satellite surveys of the cumulative radiant emissions from electric lighting across China reveals a large radiance decline in lighting from December 2019 to February 2020—the peak of the lockdown established to suppress the spread of COVID-19 infections. To illustrate the changes, an analysis was also conducted on a reference set from a year prior to the pandemic.  September 7, 2020.

 

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.