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Houston innovator on the impact of facade enhancement on the energy transition

Houston-based INOVUES CEO Anas Al Kassas joins the Energy Tech Startups podcast to discuss his company's energy-saving tech. Photo via inovues.com

Imagine a world where outdated building facades transform overnight into modern marvels without the chaos of construction or the burden of exorbitant costs.

In the recent podcast episode on Energy Tech Startups, Anas Al Kassas, the CEO of INOVUES, unveils a groundbreaking technology that promises just that. This isn't just about a facelift; it's about revolutionizing energy efficiency, embracing smart-class innovations, and redefining the aesthetics of urban landscapes.


The Advantages of Facade Technology

One of the key advantages Al Kassas highlighted was the ability to significantly reduce both the cost and environmental impact of upgrading building facades. Al Kassas explained that by utilizing INOVUES' technology, the existing systems can be updated and improved without the need for removing or discarding the windows. This approach not only saves on material costs but also avoids disruption during installation. Additionally, the fast installation process and lower labor costs further contribute to the overall cost-effectiveness of the solution.

The Role of Design Aesthetics in Building Upgrades

While energy efficiency is a primary driver for building upgrades, Al Kassas emphasized the importance of design aesthetics in the commercial real estate market. He explained that modernizing the appearance of older buildings, which may still perform well but suffer from outdated perceptions, can attract more tenants and make them more competitive. With INOVUES' solution, building owners have the opportunity to improve the aesthetics of their facades by incorporating the latest glass technologies, colors, and frit patterns (translucent patterns on glass). This not only enhances the building's appearance but also contributes to glare reduction and customization options for different tenants' needs.

The Potential for Rentable Facades

During the conversation, Al Kassas speculated about the potential for rentable facades powered by INOVUES' technology. Just as Apple offers an upgrade plan for its devices, this concept proposes a similar model for building owners to continually incorporate the latest technologies every few years. By avoiding upfront costs and providing immediate benefits such as lower energy bills, improved tenant satisfaction, and a more sustainable building, this rentable facade approach could revolutionize the industry and make energy-efficient upgrades more accessible for a wider range of buildings.

The Current Funding Landscape and Future Growth

INOVUES' journey in securing funding, as discussed in the podcast, sheds light on the challenges faced by energy tech startups. The CEO highlighted the importance of timing and identifying the right investors who share the vision and understand the industry landscape. Despite the difficulties, INOVUES has successfully raised capital, including participation from a multinational building technology company. The company's next goal is to secure a series A funding round to scale their operations and expand their footprint in the market.

INOVUES' technology represents a sustainable solution for upgrading building facades without the need for extensive removal or disruptions. The combination of energy efficiency, improved design aesthetics, and the potential for rentable facades showcases the versatility and value of the company's technology. As the demand for sustainable building solutions continues to grow, and regulatory changes support energy efficiency projects, INOVUES is poised to make a significant impact in the industry. By focusing on both environmental and economic benefits, they are positioning themselves as a key player in the energy tech startup landscape.

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Hosted by Jason Ethier and Nada Ahmed, the Digital Wildcatters’ podcast, Energy Tech Startups, delves into Houston's pivotal role in the energy transition, spotlighting entrepreneurs and industry leaders shaping a low-carbon future.

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A View From HETI

The combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology. Photo via Getty Images

SLB announced its plans to combine its carbon capture business with Norway company, Aker Carbon Capture.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year, SLB will own 80 percent of the combined business and ACC will own 20 percent.

According to a SLB news release, the combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology.

“For CCUS to have the expected impact on supporting global net-zero ambitions, it will need to scale up 100-200 times in less than three decades,” Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of SLB, says in the release. “Crucial to this scale-up is the ability to lower capture costs, which often represent as much as 50-70% of the total spend of a CCUS project.

The International Energy Agency estimates that over one gigaton of CO2 every year year will need to be captured by 2030 — a figure that scales up to over six gigatons by 2050.

"We are excited to create this business with ACC to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies that will shift the economics of carbon capture across high-emitting industrial sectors,” Le Peuch continues.

SLB is slated to pay NOK 4.12 billion — around $379.4 million — to own 80 percent of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS, which owns ACC, per the news release, and SLB may also pay up to NOK 1.36 billion over the next three years, depending on business performance.

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