Research

PRODUCTION OF SYNTHETIC NATURAL GAS FROM CARBON DIOXIDE AND RENEWABLY GENERATED HYDROGEN: A TECHNO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF A POWER-TO-GAS STRATEGY February 2019

PRODUCTION OF SYNTHETIC NATURAL GAS FROM CARBON DIOXIDE AND RENEWABLY GENERATED HYDROGEN: A TECHNO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF A POWER-TO-GAS STRATEGY  

Payne Fellow Robert Braun writes about how power-to-gas to energy systems are of increasing interest for low carbon fuels production and as a low-cost grid-balancing solution for renewables penetration. However, such gas generation systems are typically focused on hydrogen production, which has compatibility issues with the existing natural gas pipeline infrastructures. This study presents a power-to-synthetic natural gas (SNG) plant design and a techno-economic analysis of its performance for producing SNG by reacting renewably generated hydrogen from low temperature electrolysis with captured carbon dioxide. February 2019. 

THE ROLE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THE GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSFORMATION January 31, 2019

THE ROLE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THE GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSFORMATION

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.

BALANCING CLEAN WATER-CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TRADE-OFFS January 11, 2019

BALANCING CLEAN WATER-CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TRADE-OFFS

Payne Fellow Keywan Riahi writes about the energy systems that support technical solutions fulfilling the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal for clean water and sanitation (SDG6), with implications for future energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions. The energy sector is also a large consumer of water, making water efficiency targets ingrained in SDG6 important constraints for long-term energy planning.  January 11, 2019.

INTERFIRM LEARNING ECONOMIES IN DRILLING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY January 9, 2019

INTERFIRM LEARNING ECONOMIES IN DRILLING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY

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.

NEW POLICIES NEEDED TO ADVANCE SPACE MINING January 1, 2019

NEW POLICIES NEEDED TO ADVANCE SPACE MINING

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.

ENERGY ACCESS METRICS IN THE WORLD BANK’S RISE DATA December 3, 2018

ENERGY ACCESS METRICS IN THE WORLD BANK’S RISE DATA

The World Bank’s Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) is a set of indicators intended “to help compare national policy and regulatory frameworks for sustainable energy.” The RISE indicators for 2017 offer a full suite of reports and data for 111 countries. The energy access section contains 8 indicators (see Table) with 29 sub-indicators, based on 59 questions. They can be roughly categorized as (a) planning, (b) regulations for system types, and (c) economics and finance. Each indicator, scored between 0 and 100 and stop light colored, measures how far a country is from offering an attractive policy environment. December 3, 2018.

A GEOSPACIAL ASSESSMENT OF SMALL-SCALE HYDROPOWER POTENTIAL IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA November 9, 2018

A GEOSPACIAL ASSESSMENT OF SMALL-SCALE HYDROPOWER POTENTIAL IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

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.

NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCE EXTRACTION UNDER FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO REDUCE AND REVERSE STOCK POLLUTION September 11, 2018

NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCE EXTRACTION UNDER FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO REDUCE AND REVERSE STOCK POLLUTION

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.

CAPACITY PLANNING MODEL WITH CSP AND BATTERY August 10, 2018

CAPACITY PLANNING MODEL WITH CSP AND BATTERY

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.

EFFECTS OF WHOLESALE ELECTRICITY MARKETS ON WIND GENERATION IN THE MIDWESTERN UNITED STATES August 6, 2018

EFFECTS OF WHOLESALE ELECTRICITY MARKETS ON WIND GENERATION IN THE MIDWESTERN UNITED STATES

This 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.

THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES IN CENTRAL AMERICA 6.18.2018

THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES IN CENTRAL AMERICA

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.

CHANGES IN INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN AND EXTRACTION PATH 6.1.2018

CHANGES IN INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN AND EXTRACTION PATH

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.

CALL FOR PAPERS – THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION June 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS – THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION

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.

FROM DECENTRALIZED TO CENTRALIZED IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT 5.26.2018

FROM DECENTRALIZED TO CENTRALIZED IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT

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.

ECONOMIC INCENTIVES AND CONSERVATION: CROWDING-IN SOCIAL NORMS IN A GROUNDWATER COMMONS 5.18.2018

ECONOMIC INCENTIVES AND CONSERVATION: CROWDING-IN SOCIAL NORMS IN A GROUNDWATER COMMONS

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

THE FALL OF COAL: JOINT IMPACTS OF FUEL PRICES AND RENEWABLES ON GENERATION AND EMISSIONS May 2018

THE FALL OF COAL: JOINT IMPACTS OF FUEL PRICES AND RENEWABLES ON GENERATION AND EMISSIONS

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 4.16.2018

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 4.1.2018

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.

THE POTENTIAL ROLE OF NATURAL GAS FLARING IN MEETING GREENHOUSE GAS MITIGATION TARGETS 3.8.2018

THE POTENTIAL ROLE OF NATURAL GAS FLARING IN MEETING GREENHOUSE GAS MITIGATION TARGETS

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.

MODELING THE WATER-ENERGY NEXUS IN CHINA March 2018

MODELING THE WATER-ENERGY NEXUS IN CHINA

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 2.21.2018

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

THE MINERAL FOUNDATION OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION 2.10.2018

THE MINERAL FOUNDATION OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION

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.

FUEL PRICES, RESTRUCTURING, AND NATURAL GAS PLANT OPERATIONS 2.2.2018

FUEL PRICES, RESTRUCTURING, AND NATURAL GAS PLANT OPERATIONS

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.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WATER-ENERGY NEXUS FOR EMERGING COUNTRIES WHEN MOVING TOWARDS BELOW 2°C February 2018

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WATER-ENERGY NEXUS FOR EMERGING COUNTRIES WHEN MOVING TOWARDS BELOW 2°C

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.

PROOF OF CONCEPT THAT REQUIRING ENERGY LABELS FOR DWELLINGS CAN INDUCE RETROFITTING 11.26.2017

PROOF OF CONCEPT THAT REQUIRING ENERGY LABELS FOR DWELLINGS CAN INDUCE RETROFITTING

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 AND THE MILITARY: CONVERGENCE OF SECURITY, ECONOMIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING 11.20.2017

ENERGY AND THE MILITARY: CONVERGENCE OF SECURITY, ECONOMIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING

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.

COORDINATING MICROGRID PROCUREMENT DECISIONS WITH A DISPATCH STRATEGY FEATURING A CONCENTRATION GRADIENT 11.10.2017

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 November 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.

OIL CONFLICT AND KURDISH INDEPENDENCE 10.4.2017

OIL CONFLICT AND KURDISH INDEPENDENCE

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.

RESPONDING TO A GROUNDWATER CRISIS: THE EFFECTS OF SELF-IMPOSED ECONOMIC INCENTIVES 8.30.2017

RESPONDING TO A GROUNDWATER CRISIS: THE EFFECTS OF SELF-IMPOSED ECONOMIC INCENTIVES

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.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND EMISSIONS INTENSITY STANDARDS 8.4.2017

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND EMISSIONS INTENSITY STANDARDS

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

CARBON POLICY AND THE STRUCTURE OF GLOBAL TRADE 7.27.2017

CARBON POLICY AND THE STRUCTURE OF GLOBAL TRADE

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.

ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY (EOR) AS A STEPPING STONE TO CARBON CAPTURE AND SEQUESTRATION (CCS) 6.18.2017

ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY (EOR) AS A STEPPING STONE TO CARBON CAPTURE AND SEQUESTRATION (CCS)

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.

THE SUPPLY-SIDE EFFECT OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY LABELS January 2016

THE SUPPLY-SIDE EFFECT OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY LABELS

We build on research documenting demand-side consequences of energy-efficiency labels for buildings by testing for a supply-side response. We exploit a natural experiment to test whether the introduction of mandatory energy labels for residential homes influenced investment in home energy efficiency. January 2016.

THE LOCAL ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING AND DETERMINANTS OF DUTCH DISEASE November 2015

THE LOCAL ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING AND DETERMINANTS OF DUTCH DISEASE

There are a variety of reasons why an abundance of natural resources might reduce economic growth, including a phenomenon referred to as “Dutch Disease where a boom in local resource production leads to increased costs for other sectors.  We quantify the local economic impacts of the development of unconventional shale oil and gas reserves. November 2015.

A ONE-TWO PUNCH: JOINT EFFECTS ON NATURAL GAS ABUNDANCE AND RENEWABLES ON COALFIRED POWER PLANTS December 2015

A ONE-TWO PUNCH: JOINT EFFECTS ON NATURAL GAS ABUNDANCE AND RENEWABLES ON COALFIRED POWER PLANTS

This paper analyzes the joint impact of natural gas prices and wind generation on coal generation to better understand the effectiveness of overlapping energy and environmental policies.  The authors develop a statistical model to estimate the operations of generators across four transmission regions within the U.S. November 2015.

LARGE-SCALE ELECTRICITY STORAGE UTILIZING REVERSIBLE SOLID OXIDE CELLS COMBINED WITH UNDERGROUND STORAGE OF CO2 AND CH4 June 2015

LARGE-SCALE ELECTRICITY STORAGE UTILIZING REVERSIBLE SOLID OXIDE CELLS COMBINED WITH UNDERGROUND STORAGE OF CO2 AND CH4

Payne Fellow Robert Braun writes about the electrical storage that is needed on an unprecedented scale to sustain the ongoing transition of electricity generation from fossil fuels to intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. Here we describe a novel storage method combining recent advances in reversible solid oxide electrochemical cells with sub-surface storage of CO2 and CH4, thereby enabling large-scale electricity storage with a round-trip efficiency exceeding 70% and an estimated storage cost around 3 b kW-1 h-1, i.e., comparable to pumped hydro and much better than previously proposed technologies. June 2015.

 

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.