News

  • Rare earth element resource evaluation of coal byproducts: A case study from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming 1/22/2022
    Rare earth element resource evaluation of coal byproducts: A case study from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming D.A. Bagdonasa, A.J. Enriquez, Payne Fellow K.A. Coddington, D.C. Finnoff, J.F. McLaughlin, Payne Director M.D. Bazilian, E.H. Phillips, and T.L.McLing write about domestic Rare Earth Element sources and production are limited in the United States and currently rely on final processing overseas. Increasing demand and resource security domestically has led to significant investigation into rare earth element domestic resources. Much of this work focuses on unconventional potential ore stocks, including coal and coal byproducts. This investigation focuses on coal byproducts generated as ash from coal burning power stations. January 22, 2022.
  • Minerals and the clean-energy transition: the basics 1/21/2022
    Minerals and the clean-energy transition: the basics The Payne Institute research is featured in this article and podcast about a lot of the talk in the energy world, and the minerals needed by clean-energy technologies and whether mineral supply problems might pose a threat to the clean-energy transition.  The US, like most developed countries, has become highly import-dependent in minerals.  January 21, 2022.
  • Critical Minerals: America’s Achilles Heel? 1/19/2022
    Critical Minerals: America’s Achilles Heel? Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributes to this article about how the U.S. lacks minerals and metals and is import-dependent.  The Biden administration has made securing rare earth minerals a priority in its effort to decarbonize the U.S. economy. Texas-based USA Rare Earth LLC is planning to produce half of the rare earth elements crucial to the administration’s projects at this Texas Round Top mining operation. The U.S. Geological Survey is proposing to expand the current list of minerals crucial to the economy and to national defense from 30 to 50.  January 19, 2022.
  • Ex-post analysis of energy subsidy removal through integrated energy systems modelling 1/15/2022
    Ex-post analysis of energy subsidy removal through integrated energy systems modelling V. Aryanpur, M. Ghahremani, S. Mamipour, M. Fattahi, B. ´O Gallach´oir, Payne Director Morgan D. Bazilian, and J. Glynn write about how energy subsidies can incentivise the overconsumption of energy resources and contribute to other economic or social distortions. In this paper, an ex-post analysis is presented that explores the extent to which electricity subsidy reform could have reduced Iran’s energy demand during the period 1984–2017. It also quantifies the techno-economic and environmental benefits that could have been achieved through such reforms.  January 15, 2022.
  • Payne Institute Welcomes New Research Associate 1/11/2022
    Payne Institute Welcomes New Research Associate The Payne Institute welcomes our new Research Associate, Baba Freeman. Baba will initially be embedded within the COMET (the Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency) partnership to help improve the transparency and quality of environmental, social, and governance disclosures along the mineral and metals value chain. Baba comes to the Payne Institute with years of experience in management consulting and finance in the oil and gas and electric power industries, in which he worked on a diverse range of projects and gained expertise in strategic analysis and business performance improvement. His academic background is in petroleum geoscience, mineral and energy economics, and policy.   January 11, 2022.  
  • Gas future hangs on emissions data transparency 1/11/2022
    Gas future hangs on emissions data transparency Payne Institute Communications Associate Brooke Bowser and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how monitoring, certification and data science can sustain the fuel’s licence to operate.  One of the biggest challenges impeding progress is not financial or technological, but rather a lack of rigorous and transparent data. Advanced data science methods are also essential, as the raw data itself is not sufficient for decision-making. Independent monitoring efforts are helping regulators to form accurate guidelines.  January 11, 2022.
  • How Satellite Monitoring Can Help Protect Refugees 1/4/2022
    How Satellite Monitoring Can Help Protect Refugees Payne Institute Communications Associate Elsa Barron, Earth Observation Group Director Christopher Elvidge, Researcher Feng Chi, Hsu, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how we are crafting one response to the plights of refugees worldwide through a satellite monitoring technology called Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Lumen Watch. The technology is a prototype developed by the Earth Observation Group in order to monitor changes in nighttime light radiance in geographic locations of interest. Currently, the software monitors the light radiance of two refugee settlements: the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, and Al-Jufaynah Camp in Marib City, Yemen, which hosts thousands of people who have been internally displaced by the civil war.  January 4, 2022.  
  • Water for energy: Characterizing co-evolving energy and water systems under twin climate and energy system nonstationarities 1/3/2022
    Water for energy: Characterizing co-evolving energy and water systems under twin climate and energy system nonstationarities Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Adrienne Marshall and Emily Grubert write about how as water-for-energy quantification efforts progress, research should emphasize decision support for energy system design, incorporating crucial hydrologic dynamics.  Beyond the location of water use, relative scarcity, and potential competing uses, these include sub-daily to interannual temporal dynamics, the impacts of climate change on these dimensions, potential feedbacks between energy and water systems, and the impacts of hydrologic variability or change on policy-based incentive structures. This article reviews prior US-focused efforts to quantify water use for energy, highlights why these nonstationarities are analytically relevant with a brief policy case study, and highlights research needs for decision support under twin nonstationarities. January 3, 2022.  
  • Historic Fire in Boulder Colorado 12/31/2021
    Historic Fire in Boulder Colorado The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Researcher Feng Chi (David), Hsu and student Elijah Mt. Castle provided a satellite map from the devastating Marshall Fire in Colorado using the JPSS satellite imagery and their VNF process.  It shows both the scale, as well as temperature. December 31, 2021.  
  • Nebraska project finds key minerals, but can it mine them? 12/22/2021
    Nebraska project finds key minerals, but can it mine them? Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Rod Eggert is featured in this article about how the challenges start with the massive amount of money needed to build a mine but also include fickle customers, the nation’s tougher environmental regulations, volatile markets and intense international competition. As a result, despite years of efforts, the mine in Nebraska might never be built. Even if NioCorp can come up with the money for its mine, its profitability could hinge on whether its minerals will be cheaper than foreign competitors’ supplies. Simply knowing the existence of a mineral deposit that’s attractive geologically does not guarantee commercial viability.  December 22, 2021.