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Things to know this week: Houstonian's guide to CERAWeek 2024

Here's what to attend at CERAWeek. Photo via CERAWeek.com

Editor's note: Dive headfirst into the new week with things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition — a special CERAWeek 2024 edition. Check out these must-attend events at the conference, which is going on all week in Downtown Houston.

Monday, March 18, at 4:30 pm — IRA at One and a Half Years: What is the impact?

Billions of dollars have poured into the energy sector to spur investment and production of technology to fight climate change through the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) 18 months ago. Experts weigh in on the successes so far and any challenges and obstacles that have arisen.

  • Roman Kramarchuk, S&P Global Commodity Insights Head – Climate Markets and Policy Analytics
  • Jigar Shah, United States Department of Energy Director, Loan Programs Office
  • Kevin Gresham, RWE Senior Vice President, Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs
  • Steve Smith, National Grid Group Head of Strategy, Innovation and Market Analytics, National Grid | President, National Grid Partners

Tuesday, March 19, at 1 pm  — Everything is Bigger in Texas: Building Hydrogen City

Announced in 2022, the largest green hydrogen production, storage and transport hub is being developed in South Texas. It will be powered by behind-the-meter solar and wind and the first phase is expected to produce 1/4 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year. The project developers will provide an update on the early stages of the project.

  • Toshiaki Takimoto, INPEX Corporation Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Corporate Strategy & Planning and Head of Net Zero Business
  • Kenneth Medlock, Rice University, Baker Institute Senior Director, Center for Energy Studies
  • Noah Feingold, S&P Global Consulting Associate Director
  • Brian Maxwell, Green Hydrogen International Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Wednesday, March 20, at 1 pm — Houston Energy Initiative Energy Venture Day and Pitch Competition

Join The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, the Houston Energy Transition Initiative and the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy (TEX-E) for the third annual Energy Venture Day and Pitch Competition at CERAWeek. The pitch day will feature more than 40 energy ventures driving efficiency and advancements toward the energy transition. The fast-paced competition is designed to connect energy startups with venture capitalists, corporate innovation groups, industry leaders, academics and service providers.

Read more about the event here.

Thursday, March 21, at 1 pm — Luncheon & Dialogue with Bill Gates

Legendary Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who founded Breakthrough Energy and TerraPower, is headed to town for the 2024 CERAWeek. Gates will be featured in a luncheon fireside chat with S&P Global's Daniel Yergin.

HETI House

Drop by the Houston Energy Transition Initiative's HETI House at CERAWeek for a tour or one of the fireside chats.

Commercializing low carbon technology: unique partnerships between industry and academia

Woodside Energy + Rice University

Monday, March 18 | 2 p.m.

  • Tony Almond – VP of Technology & Innovation, Woodside Energy
  • Aditya Mohite – Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Associate Professor, Materials Science and Nanoengineering, Rice University

In 2024, Woodside Energy and Rice University in Houston announced a five-year technology collaboration aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing lower carbon solutions. Woodside will provide $12.5 million to fund the creation of the Woodside-Rice Decarbonization Accelerator, an initiative that aims to bring breakthrough decarbonization technology from the Rice labs to market, with a specific focus on manufacturing products derived from captured carbon dioxide and methane. Specifically, Rice hopes to leverage cold plasma technology, a unique approach to breaking down carbon dioxide. These products have potential applications to make better batteries, transistors, and other critical materials for energy technologies.

Investing in our academic institutions and talent in the energy capital of the world

Shell + University of Houston Energy Transition Institute

Tuesday, March 19 | 9:30 a.m.

  • Jenny Philip, Energy Transition U.S. Senior Advisor, Shell
  • Scott Nyquist, Energy Advisory Board, University of Houston. Vice-Chair, Houston Energy Transition Initiative, Greater Houston Partnership
  • Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chief Energy Officer, University of Houston

Funded by Shell USA, Inc and Shell Global Solutions, US Inc, the University of Houston’s new Energy Transition Institute (ETI) empowers the next generation of energy leaders; develops and accelerates energy solutions, including hydrogen, carbon management and circular materials at scale; and informs policies to address our most pressing challenge to provide secure, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy for all. Learn more about how University of Houston’s ETI is driving research, innovation and workforce development to support the transition to a low-carbon, energy-abundant future.

How Houston Leads: Engaging Communities and Creating Opportunity in the Energy Transition

Calpine + Houston Energy Transition Initiative

Wednesday, March 20 | 10 a.m.

  • Brett Kerr, Vice President, External Affairs, Calpine
  • Jane Stricker, Houston Energy Transition Initiative + Greater Houston Partnership

Houston has long been regarded as the Energy Capital of the World. As the industry continues to innovate and deploy projects for an energy-abundant, low-carbon future, engaging communities and creating opportunity for all will be critical. In this session, Jane and Brett will discuss the engagement approaches leading energy companies are putting into practice to expand opportunity for all communities. Come learn about best practices, key challenges and new methods for building sustained relationships with communities.

Scaling carbon-neutral gasoline – feed to construction

HIF Global + Bechtel

Thursday, March 21 | 10 a.m.

  • Brooke Vandygriff, Chief Operations Officer, HIF USA
  • Rich Wall, Principal Vice President & General Manager Downstream, Chemicals & Advanced Fuels, Bechtel

HIF Global, the world’s leading eFuels company, has selected Bechtel Energy, Siemens Energy, and Topsoe to conduct the front-end engineering and design (“FEED”) of a facility to be constructed in Matagorda County, Texas, to produce carbon-neutral gasoline. When operational, the HIF Matagorda eFuels Facility will produce fuel that can be dropped-in to vehicles in use today without any modification to existing engines or the infrastructure on which they depend. Come hear more about this innovative technology and the Matagorda facility from Bechtel Energy and HIF Global.

24/7 carbon-free energy: from startup to scale in houston

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries + Fervo Energy

Thursday, March 21 | 2 p.m.

  • Tim Latimer, Chief Executive Officer, Fervo Energy
  • Takajiro Ishikawa, President & CEO, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced its investment in Fervo Energy (Fervo), an innovative enhanced geothermal technology startup headquartered in Houston, Texas. MHI joins a consortium of strategic investors, including Devon Energy Corporation (Devon), Marunouchi Innovation Partners (MIP). Over the last few years, Fervo has adapted innovations pioneered by the oil and gas industry, such as horizontal drilling and distributed fiber optic sensing, to make reservoirs of hot rock that exist beneath the earth’s surface into practical, economically viable, carbon-free sources of energy that can be used as heat sources both for industrial and power generation. Learn more about how this clean energy startup is commercializing solutions for the transitions by building relationships with world leading energy and technology companies.

Energy Tech Innovation Lounge (no badge required)

Houston Innovation Leaders and Founders is hosting a free Energy Tech Innovation Lounge that's open daily from 10 am to 5 pm at 808 Travis Street. Each day has programing and networking — click here to learn more.

Trending News

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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