Research

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.

Country Spotlight: Gas Flaring in India 9/3/2020

Country Spotlight: Gas Flaring in India

The Payne Institute looks at the gas flaring in India.  According to the IEA, India is the fourth largest refiner of oil (behind the US, Russia, and China), and the third largest importer of crude oil and LNG (behind China and the US), though is outranked by 24 other countries on oil production, with declining trends.  September 3, 2020. 

Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID World Sustainable Energy 8/31/2020

Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID World Sustainable Energy

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian was a co-author on the Second Consultative Science Platform of the IIASA-ISC “Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID-19 World” that aims to harness the transformative power of crisis to imagine a more sustainable world. The authors gathered with a focus on science -to deliberate on the following overarching questions: How should COVID-19 and related stimulus and/or recovery packages be directed to build back better to create the maximum impact on the  transition to sustainable development; and how can a decarbonized, decentralized, and digitalized energy system make our society more resilient? How can the ability of science, policy and governance systems be enhanced to rapidly respond to unforeseen shocks? August 31, 2020.

CSIS Energy 360° Podcast – Getting to Reliable Electricity Access 8/31/2020

Energy 360° Podcast – Getting to Reliable Electricity Access

Payne Institute Advisory Board Member Sarah Ladislaw and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) host Morgan Bazilian for a podcast to discuss energy access globally and some of the metrics used to measure access. The Payne Institute recently released ‘Measuring “Reasonably Reliable” Access to Electricity Services,’ which provides an in-depth view of the gaps in global electricity access and how quality of access matters as much as quantity.  August 31, 2020.

Hurricane Laura from Space 8/28/2020

Hurricane Laura from Space

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group has been viewing the power outages following Hurricane Laura.  One of the consequences of many natural disasters are power outages, which result in losses in electric lighting that can be detected with low light imaging data.  This paper looks at the nighttime light images of the impacted areas.  August 28, 2020.

HISTORICAL LICK OBSERVATORY SURROUNDED BY WILDFIRE 8/24/2020

HISTORICAL LICK OBSERVATORY SURROUNDED BY WILDFIRE

Payne Institute Mines student workers Elijah Mt. Castle and Mitch Burcham worked with the Earth Observation Group using VIIRS NightFire technology to view the Lick Observatory operated by the University of California.  The observatory is slowly being encroached upon by a surrounding wildfire in the Mt. Hamilton area of California. August 24, 2020.

Measuring “Reasonably Reliable” access to electricity services 8/19/2020

Measuring “Reasonably Reliable” access to electricity services

Payne Fellow Todd Moss, Morgan Bazilian, John Ayaburi, and Jacob Kincer write that while the electricity access rate is regularly measured in most countries, there are no routinely tracked metrics that measure reliability. This paper presents a new approach that: (1) aggregates all available country data on reliability; (2) defines a minimum threshold metric for ‘reasonable reliability’; and (3) estimates the number of people without ‘reasonably reliable’ electricity services. We estimate the number of people without access to reliable electricity is approximately 3.5 billion. This new metric provides a more granular view of the enormous energy access gap globally, and insights for future investment and policy decisions.  August 19, 2020.

Natural Gas Transportation Price Regulation and the Dash for Gas 8/18/2020

Natural Gas Transportation Price Regulation and the Dash for Gas

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell and Payne Faculty Fellow Ian Lange write about the large reduction in natural gas prices due to horizontal fracturing that has led to an unprecedented expansion in natural gas use for electricity generation. Another innovation that helped facilitate the expansion of natural gas electricity generation is the deregulation of natural gas pipeline transportation. Previous to June 2008, the price for transacting space in natural gas pipelines was set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC Order 712 allowed transactions under one year in duration, generally known as the secondary market, to transact at market prices. This regulatory innovation should facilitate natural gas power plants in procuring natural gas and lead to expanded generation.  August 18, 2020. 

GRIZZLY CREEK AND PINE GULCH FOREST FIRES 8/17/2020

GRIZZLY CREEK AND PINE GULCH FOREST FIRES

Payne Institute Mines student workers Elijah Mt. Castle and Mitch Burcham worked with the Earth Observation Group using VIIRS NightFire technology to view two extremely hazardous fires in Colorado.  Our team utilized VIIRS NightFire technology to not only pinpoint fire hotspots but accurately calculate average temperatures of the flames within an area. These fires are occurring along I-70: one in Grizzly Creek near Glenwood Springs, and one in Pine Gulch near Palisade, Colorado. August 17, 2020.

Market failures and willingness-to-accept the smart energy transition: Experimental evidence from the UK 8/13/2020

MARKET FAILURES AND WILLINGNESS-TO-ACCEPT THE SMART ENERGY TRANSITION: EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE FROM THE UK

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell and Daire McCoy have a new working paper that discusses why there is a need to facilitate the sustainable energy transition, and how governments and innovators are encouraging households to adopt smart technologies that allow for increased flexibility in energy grids. The UK’s ambitious smart metering policy has indisputably failed to achieve its objective of equipping all dwellings with smart meters. This research uses a novel experiment to elicit the willingness-to-accept of 2,400 nationally representative UK households for smart meter installation.  August 13, 2020.  

Fall in US gas flaring gives cause for optimism 8/11/2020

FALL IN US GAS FLARING GIVES CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Jordy Lee, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Jamie Webster write about how in the past 12 months, gas flaring in the US has actually declined by 70 per cent, according to numbers provided by the Earth Observation Group.This decline was not driven by policy, Covid-19, or suddenly improved operations, but rather as the result of investors demanding greater capital discipline from a sector that had earned a reputation for prioritising growth over all other concerns. These demands have reduced activity, particularly from smaller operators that have often found it financially difficult to spend capital to improve environmental outcomes. August 11, 2020.

Published on End Poverty in South Asia India’s electricity consumption data shows economic impact of COVID-19 8/11/2020

INDIA’S ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION DATA SHOWS ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group research provides the data for this piece on how COVID-19 has disrupted economic activity. Quantifying this disruption is challenging. Traditional national account estimates, the official government measure for economic activity, are not very helpful for that. To monitor economic activity in times like these, one needs instead measures that are available at higher frequency and higher spatial granularity- for example at the district level.  In India, the amount of electricity used (measured as total consumption) and the intensity of lights in the evening (measured as lights per area) are useful proxy indicators. Electricity consumption is measured daily at the state-level and changes reveal information about the economy.  August 11, 2020.  

OIL WELL EXPLOSION IN INDIA 8/5/2020

OIL WELL EXPLOSION IN INDIA

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Willie Helms reports that an ongoing fire in India exploded on July 22, 2020, injuring three people. Over the last two months, Oil India Limited (OIL) has suspended operations at well number 5 of the Baghjan oil field, located in the Tinsukia district of Assam, India. Problems originally started on May 27, a blowout occurred, allowing gas to spew uncontrollably from the well. Fueled by the gas, a large fire broke out on June 9, killing two firefighters. August 5, 2020. 

Spatially variable taxation and resource extraction: The impact of state oil taxes on drilling in the US 8/5/2020

SPATIALLY VARIABLE TAXATION AND RESOURCE EXTRACTION: THE IMPACT OF STATE OIL TAXES ON DRILLING IN THE US

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Peter Maniloff, Jason Brown, and Dale Manning estimate the responsiveness of nonrenewable resource firms to taxes on output using spatially explicit data from the oil sector in the United States. Using a model of resource firm capital allocation over space, we show that responses to spatially-varying taxes differ from responses to equivalent changes in the common output price. A larger response to tax rates occurs because the tax change only affects the returns to drilling in a single state, whereas a price change affects both the returns to drilling in a state and the opportunity cost of not drilling in other states.  August 5, 2020.

Sumit Agarwal named 2020 AVS Fellow 7/24/2020

Sumit Agarwal named 2020 AVS Fellow

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Sumit Agarwal has been named a 2020 AWS Fellow.  Fellowship recognizes AVS members who have made sustained and outstanding technical contributions throughout their careers to research, engineering, technical advancement, academic education or technical management in the areas of basic science, technology development and commercialization of materials, interfaces and processing.  July 24, 2020.

IRAQ LOOKING TO DEVELOP ITS NATURAL GAS RESOURCE 7/23/2020

IRAQ LOOKING TO DEVELOP ITS NATURAL GAS RESOURCE

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Willie Helms reviews VIIRS satellite imagery to see that since 2018, the United States has been putting pressure on Iraq to move toward energy independence. Iraq currently imports the majority of its natural gas from Iran, which is then burned for electricity. However, as a bi-product of its oil production, Iraq already flares the second most natural gas in the world as of 2018 per data from NOAA with assistance from VIIRS Nightfire (VNF).  July 23, 2020.  

Illuminating dark fishing fleets in North Korea

ILLUMINATING DARK FISHING FLEETS IN NORTH KOREA

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group research on nighttime lights (VIIRS) provides the data for this article on Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing that threatens resource sustainability and equity. A major challenge with such activity is that most fishing vessels do not broadcast their positions and are “dark” in public monitoring systems. Combining four satellite technologies, we identify widespread illegal fishing by dark fleets in the waters between the Koreas, Japan, and Russia.  July 22, 2020. 

New Technology Unveils Massive Illegal Fishing by Dark Fleets in North Korea, What Next? 7/22/2020

NEW TECHNOLOGY UNVEILS MASSIVE ILLEGAL FISHING BY DARK FLEETS IN NORTH KOREA, WHAT NEXT?

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group research on nighttime lights (VIIRS) was featured in this article about unprecedented fishing activity in North Korea.  International collaboration reveals widespread illegal fishing in North Korean waters across 2017 and 2018. Hundreds of large, industrial vessels originating from China likely violated United Nations (U.N.) sanctions and caught almost half a billion dollars worth of Pacific flying squid. July 22, 2020.  

Global Gas Flaring Jumps to Levels Last Seen in 2009

GLOBAL GAS FLARING JUMPS TO LEVELS LAST SEEN IN 2009

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group’s research on gas flaring is providing the data for the annual World Bank Global Gas Flaring Report.  Estimates from satellite data show global gas flaring increased, by 3%, to levels not seen in more than a decade, to 150 billion cubic meters (bcm), equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Sub-Saharan Africa.  July 21, 2020.

Smart Meter Data to Optimize Combined Roof-top Solar and Battery Systems using a Stochastic Mixed Integer Programming Model 7/21/2020

SMART METER DATA TO OPTIMIZE COMBINED ROOF-TOP SOLAR AND BATTERY SYSTEMS USING A STOCHASTIC MIXED INTEGER PROGRAMMING MODEL

Emon Chatterji and Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian presents the design and results of a model that uses household smart meter data, electric vehicle (EV) travel load and charging options, and multiple solar resource profiles, to make decisions on optimal combinations of photovoltaics (PV), battery energy storage systems (BESS) and EV charging strategies. The least-cost planning model is formulated as a stochastic mixed integer programming (MIP) problem that makes first stage decisions on PV/BESS investments, and recourse decisions on purchase/sell from/to the grid to minimize expected household electricity costs. July 21, 2020.

Dynamic corrective taxes with time-varying salience 7/15/2020

Dynamic corrective taxes with time-varying salience

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ben Gilbert and Joshua Zivin write about economies across the globe that are becoming increasingly cashless and many payment systems have become automated, driving a temporal wedge between consumption and payment and generally making the costs of consumption intermittently salient. Since this inconsistent price salience alters demand elasticities, it is a particular concern for goods that generate externalities and the price-based policies deployed to address them. This paper derives optimal dynamic corrective taxes for suboptimal and persistent consumption decisions. These taxes depend on the agent’s ability to commit to a future consumption path. July 15, 2020.

Mines researchers awarded $7.7M from ARPA-E to test full-scale hybrid stationary power system 7/13/2020

MINES RESEARCHER AWARDED $7.7m FROM ARPA-E TO TEST FULL-SCALE HYBRID STATIONARY POWER SYSTEM

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Robert Braun has been awarded $7.7 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop and test a full-scale hybrid stationary power system that could provide highly efficient electricity to hospitals, supermarkets, large retailers and more.  The fuel cell researchers are targeting the highest electric efficiency ever for something that’s powered by a fossil fuel – the world’s first 70 percent efficient natural-gas fueled power generation system.  July 13, 2020.  

ARGENTINA’S POPULAR EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE 7/10/2020

ARGENTINA’S POPULAR EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Willie Helms reviews VIIRS satellite imagery to look at Argentina.  Argentina is a nation with rich, natural squid resources. Its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is one of the best places for squid fishing on Earth. The EEZ, spanning for 200 nautical miles from any point of the Argentinean coast, is home to the Argentine shortfin Squid. Because some of the best areas for squid fishing are just near the EEZ boundary, fishing fleets from other countries try to catch these squid by getting as close as possible to the Argentinean EEZ.  July 10, 2020.  

Artificial Lights Tell the Story of the Pandemic 7/8/2020

ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS TELL THE STORY OF THE PANDEMIC

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group research on nighttime lights (VIIRS) provides confirmation for this article on satellite views of Earth that reveal the distinct imprint of humankind’s response to a fast-spreading virus.  As entire populations and industries curtailed their usual movements, pixels of light on satellite images rearranged themselves accordingly—a new bright cluster here, a fresh spot of darkness there.  July 8, 2020. 

Economic impacts of the 2020 oil market crash 5/21/2020

ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE 2020 OIL MARKET CRASH

Payne Fellow Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the upstream oil and gas industry risks losing more than 200,000 jobs over the next six to 12 months—comparable to the 2015–2016 oil market downturn—and appears poised to shrink over the longer term, as well. This may challenge states and local communities that have significant upstream exposure and suggests they focus on making their economies more resilient.  May 21, 2020. 

NIGHT LIGHTS: Suomi NPP Detects Changes In Nighttime Lights Around NYC 5/12/2020

NIGHT LIGHTS: Suomi NPP Detects Changes In Nighttime Lights Around NYC…

Payne Institute Dr. Christopher Elvidge and the Earth Observation Group contributed to the article tapping into data from the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite’s Day/Night Band (DNB), NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) colleagues at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), and the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) that examined the difference in illumination of urban and suburban lights between February 2020 and March 2020. By doing so, the scientists were able to detect areas of dimming (blue), and in some cases brightening (red), of nighttime lights from the Mid-Atlantic to New England.  May 12, 2020.

AGGREGATION AND ANALYSIS OF METHANE DATA IN THE DJ BASIN, COLORADO 5/5/2020

AGGREGATION AND ANALYSIS OF METHANE DATA IN THE DJ BASIN, COLORADO

Payne Institute Fellow Dorit Hammerling and Payne Research Associate William Daniels consider emissions data in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin. They focus on methane data from the TROPOMI instrument on board the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite. They have aggregated the data into a variety of temporal packets and performed an initial exploratory analysis. This review will help inform ongoing and future air pollution monitoring efforts. These efforts rely on data gathered from a wide array of monitoring techniques, including ground-level sensors, drones, and planes. Being able to better incorporate satellite data into these efforts will offer a more complete emissions profile, which can be used to inform both operations and regulations. May 5, 2020.

Nighttime lights are revolutionizing the way we understand COVID-19 and our world 5/4/2020

NIGHTTIME LIGHTS ARE REVOLUTIONIZING THE WAY WE UNDERSTAND COVID-19 AND OUR WORLD

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group research on light pollution was featured in this article about images of Earth taken at night are revolutionizing our ability to measure and understand nearly every dimension of human activity on Earth and allow us to get a glimpse into human-Earth interactions in close to real time. The need to track and predict outbreaks, as well as understand the impacts of COVID-19 on economies, has led to the utilization of unique sources of data that could help track the spread of the pandemic in close to real time. Satellite observations – including those taken at night – are becoming a primary source of data for tracking the progress of the pandemic and its impacts on energy consumption, transportation, social interactions, the functionality of critical infrastructure, tourism, trade emissions, etc. May 4, 2020. 

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. 

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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. 

THE GEOPOLITICS OF RENEWABLES: NEW BOARD, NEW GAME February 10, 2020

THE GEOPOLITICS OF RENEWABLES: NEW BOARD, NEW GAME

This policy perspective sums up the main input of four members of the Research Panel for IRENA’s Global Commission on the Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation. The geographic and technical characteristics of renewable energy systems are fundamentally different from those of coal, oil, and natural gas. This has implications for interstate energy relations and will require early attention if states are to exploit opportunities and address challenges. We point to six clusters of renewables’ geopolitical implications that will manifest themselves over different time horizons. Overall, a generally positive disruption is foreseen, but also one that raises new energy security challenges. February 10, 2020.

FRACKING CONTROVERSIES: ENHANCING PUBLIC TRUST IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT THROUGH ENERGY JUSTICE February 10, 2020

FRACKING CONTROVERSIES: ENHANCING PUBLIC TRUST IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT THROUGH ENERGY JUSTICE

Payne Faculty Fellow Jessica Smith co-authors a paper on Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) that are a policy tool for local governments to gain more control over unconventional oil and gas development. MOUs ideally empower local governments to minimize potential risks by negotiating more stringent best management practices directly with the operators, who benefit from a more stable regulatory landscape. This study investigates the energy justice dimensions of these MOUs as they were negotiated in the midst of community conflicts in Colorado.  February 10, 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.