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Houston energy transition events not to miss, expert commentary on climate crisis, and more things to know

Houston energy transition folks — here's what to know to start your week. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note: Start your week off strong with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a roundup of events not to miss, a new Houston energy executive to know, and more.

Events not to miss

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

    • Future of Energy Summit is Tuesday, February 6, at AC Hotel by Marriott Houston Downtown. Register.
    • The 2024 NAPE Summit is Wednesday, February 7, to Friday, February 9, at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It's the energy industry’s marketplace for the buying, selling and trading of prospects and producing properties. Register.
    • The De Lange Conference, taking place February 9 and 10 at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, is centered around the theme “Brave New Worlds: Who Decides? Research, Risk and Responsibility” this year. Register.
    • The Future of Energy Across the Americas: Helping Lawyers Predict and Adapt — the 2024 Houston Energy Conference — is February 27 to March 1. Register.
    • CERAWeek 2024 is Monday, March 18, to Friday, March 22, in the George R. Brown Convention Center. Register.

    ​Commentary: Chris Wood, co-founder of Moonshot Compost, on loving the climate apocalypse​

    Chris Wood knows that the last thing anyone wants to be reminded of in 2024 is the impending climate apocalypse, but, as he writes in his guest column, "There is a scientific consensus that the world climate is trending towards uninhabitable for many species, including humans, due in large part to results of human activity."

    He cites a report that 93 percent “believe that climate change poses a serious and imminent threat to the planet.”

    "Until recently reviewing this report, I was unaware that 93 percent of any of us could agree on anything," he writes. "It got me thinking, how much of our problem today is based on misunderstanding both the nature of the problem and the solution?" Read more.

    New hire: Bracewell names new partner to advise clients on energy transition tax incentives

    Bracewell announced that Jennifer Speck has joined the firm's tax department as a partner in the Houston office. Speck will advise clients on energy transition tax incentives.

    Some of her experiences include onshore and offshore wind, solar, carbon capture, clean hydrogen and clean fuel projects. She recently served as senior manager of tax and regulatory compliance at Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC. She graduated in 2010 with a B.F.A. in mental health psychology from Northeastern State University, and received her J.D., with honors, from The University of Tulsa College of Law in 2012. Read more.

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    A View From HETI

    Ten energy tech companies in Houston are among 111 organizations to receive up to $250,000 in vouchers from the DOE's Office of Technology Transitions, totaling $9.8 million in funding. Photo via Getty Images

    Ten Houston-area companies will receive vouchers from the Department of Energy's latest round of funding to support the adoption of clean energy tech.

    The companies are among 111 organizations to receive up to $250,000 in vouchers from the DOE's Office of Technology Transitions, totaling $9.8 million in funding, according to a release from the department.

    The voucher program is in collaboration with the Offices of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). It is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

    “It takes a breadth of tools and expertise to bring an innovative technology from research and development to deployment,” Vanessa Z. Chan, DOE Chief Commercialization Officer and Director of the Office of Technology Transitions, says in a statement. “The Voucher Program will pair 111 clean energy solutions with the support they need from expert voucher providers to help usher new technologies to market.”

    In addition to the funding, the program seeks to help small businesses and non-traditional organizations gain access to testing facilities and third-party expertise.

    The vouchers come in five different opportunities that focus on different areas of business growth and support:

    • Voucher Opportunity 1 (VO1) - Pre-Demonstration Commercialization Support
    • Voucher Opportunity 2 (VO2) - Performance Validation, Modeling, and Certification Support
    • Voucher Opportunity 3 (VO3) - Clean Energy Demonstration Project Siting/Permitting Support
    • Voucher Opportunity 4 (VO4) - Commercialization Support (for companies with a functional technology prototype)
    • Voucher Opportunity 5 (VO5) - Commercialization Support (for developers, including for-profit firms, that are working to commercialize a prototype that fits a specific technology vertical of interest for DOE)

    The 10 Houston-area companies to receive funding, their voucher type and projects include:

    • Terradote Inc. with Big Blue Technologies Inc. (VO2): Full ISO-Compliant Life Cycle Assessment for Clean Energy Technologies
    • Solugen Inc. and Encina with ACTion Battery Technologies L.L.C. and Frontline Waste Holding LLC (Vo2): Barracuda Virtual Reactor Simulation, Validation and Testing
    • Flow Safe with Concept Group LLC and Precision Fluid Control (VO2): Durability Testing of Hydrogen Components, Materials, and Storage Systems
    • Percheron Power LLC (VO4): Fundraising Support
    • Capwell Services Inc. with Banyu Carbon Inc. (VO5): Field Testing Support for Validation of Novel Resource Sustainability Technologies
    • Syzygy Plasmonics with Ample Carbon PBC, Terraform Industries, Lydian Labs Inc. and Vycarb Inc. (VO5): Rapid Life Cycle Assessment for Carbon Management or Resource Sustainability Technologies
    • Solidec Inc. with GreenFire Energy (VO5): LCA Calculator Tool for Carbon Management or Resource Sustainability Technologies
    • Encino Environmental Services LLC with Wood Cache, Completion Corp and Carbon Lockdown (VO5): Realtime Above/Underground Gas Monitoring Reporting and Verification, Including Cloud Connectivity for Remote Sites
    • Mati Carbon PBC with Ebb Carbon Inc. (VO5): Community Benefits Assessment and Environmental Justice

    Other Texas-based companies to receive funding included Molecular Rebar Design LLC and Talus Renewables from Austin, Deep Anchor Solutions from College Station, and ACTion Battery Technologies LLC from Wichita Falls.

    Last October, the DOE also awarded the Houston area more than $2 million for projects that improve energy efficiency and infrastructure in the region.

    In December, its Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations also selected a Houston power company for a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage project cost-sharing agreement.

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