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3 energy tech startups with fresh funding, Houston events to attend, and more things to know this week

Houston energy events to put on your radar — plus more things to know this week. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note: It's a new week — start it strong with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a roundup of events not to miss, a guest column to read, and more.

3 Houston energy startups raised funding last quarter

After each quarter, EnergyCapital's sister site InnovationMap rounds up the startups that raised funding. In Q4 of 2023, three of the nine startups to close rounds were from the energy industry.

  • Amperon Holdings Inc. closed its $20 million series B in October
  • Velostics raised nearly $2M additional seed funding in October
  • Digital Wildcatters announced $2.5M seed in December

Events not to miss

Put these Houston-area energy-related events on your calendar.

  • Energy Underground's January meeting is on January 18 at noon at the Esperson Building. Register.
  • The Houston Oil and Gas Executive Leadership Summit is an meeting of executives, policymakers, academics, and other professionals with a particular interest related to energy. The event is January 25 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston. Register.
  • Future of Energy Summit is Tuesday, February 6, at AC Hotel by Marriott Houston Downtown. Register.

Column: Texas expert weighs in on COP28's disappointment

Before it even started, COP28 drew sharp condemnation from activists and left-leaning politicians who took issue with the climate conference location: the United Arab Emirates, a leading oil and gas-producing nation.

“Time to say ‘the F-words’?” CNBC asked in one headline, referring of course to “fossil fuel.” A group of US and EU lawmakers called for the removal of COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber, head of the UAE’s national oil company Adnoc. And former Vice President Al Gore slammed the host nation and the summit itself, saying it was “abusing the public’s trust” because al-Jaber couldn’t be an honest broker of a climate deal.

I get it. The optics were certain to raise eyebrows and provide low-hanging fruit for critics. But the extent to which the conference became a global flash point was surprising even to the most cynical of onlookers. Finger-pointing took center stage, relegating rational discussion to the shadows. Misinformation and distrust flourished as a tired old energy transition narrative took hold — one that pits villain oil and gas against hero Renewables in an epic fight to save the planet. Click here to continue reading this guest column.

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A View From HETI

Fervo Energy — and a few other Greentown Labs companies — made a global list of clean tech companies. Photo via fervoenergy.com

Nine Greentown Labs members were recognized on a global list honoring cleantech companies.

Houston-based Fervo Energy was named to Cleantech Group’s Global Cleantech 100 report. Cleantech Group is a research-driven company that aids the public sector, private sector, investors, and also identifies, assesses, and engages with the innovative solutions around climate challenges.

Fervo, a geothermal energy company that specializes in a renewable energy technology that uses hot water to produce electricity, debuted in 2022 on the list, and was honored in the “Energy & Power” category for the second straight year.

The other Greentown Labs, which is dual located in Houston and Somerville, Massachusetts, companies recognized on the list include:

  • Amogy, a New York-based novel carbon-free energy system using ammonia as a renewable fuel
  • Carbon Upcycling Technologies, a Canadian waste and carbon utilization company
  • Dandelion Energy, New York-based company offering ground source heat pumps for most homes
  • Energy Dome, a Milan-based company addressing the problem of long-duration energy storage
  • e-Zinc, a Canadian company with a breakthrough electrochemical technology for energy storage
  • Nth Cycle, a Massachusetts company with sustainable metal refining
  • Raptor Maps, a Massachusetts company with a software platform for solar assets' performance data management
  • Sublime Systems, a Massachusetts companydeveloping a breakthrough process for low-carbon cement
  • WeaveGrid, a California company working with utilities, automakers, EVSEs, and EV owners to enable and accelerate the electrification of transportation

The number of nominations from the public, a panel, i3, awards and Cleantech Group totaled 25,435 from over 65 countries, which is a 61% increase from the 2023 nomination process. Winners were chosen from a short list of 330 companies by a panel of over 80 industry experts.

While not on the list, Beaumont-based Fortress Energy was mentioned for its electrolyzer supply agreement with Cleantech Group 100 winner Electric Hydrogen.

The Cleantech Group 100 was started 15 years ago.

“In 15 more years, we will be at 2039—by which time, a mere decade out from the ‘net-zero’ target of 2050,” Cleantech Group CEO Richard Youngman says in the report. “I would expect the composition of our annual list to have markedly changed again, and the leading upcoming private companies of that time to reflect such.”

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