the view from heti
Houston: Where energy leaders create a low-carbon future
Houston is the energy capital of the world, and it faces a dual challenge: fulfilling growing global energy demand while actively reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
This is why energy leaders have come together at the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, within the Greater Houston Partnership, to strengthen the region’s position for an energy-abundant, low-carbon future. HETI’s impact work is conducted through sector-specific working groups that leverage Houston’s competitive advantage. These working groups include: Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS), Clean Hydrogen, Capital Formation, Power Management, and Industry Decarbonization.
Texas Gulf Coast as a hub for carbon management
The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that CCUS is a requirement to any realistic pathway to a low-carbon, even net-zero future. This is especially true in the Houston area, which is home to one of the nation’s largest concentrated sources of carbon dioxide. Houston has the geology, knowledge, and infrastructure to support CCUS at scale. The CCUS Working Group at HETI supports key policy enablers of scaling CCUS, including supporting the state to earn permitting authority (primacy) over carbon capture (Class VI) wells. The working group is also analyzing the cumulative impacts of carbon capture on the region’s existing infrastructure and identifying key infrastructure needs for CCUS to reach scale.
Gulf Coast preparing for clean hydrogen liftoff
The Clean Hydrogen working group has created an ecosystem for Houston to lead the clean hydrogen market. The Texas Gulf Coast region is currently home to the world’s largest hydrogen system. By assessing the impact of hydrogen on the economy and the environment, this working group is positioning Houston to be a leading clean hydrogen hub.
Houston as a leader in Industry decarbonization
Houston needs technologies including but not limited to clean hydrogen and CCUS for decarbonization. The HETI Decarbonization Working Group partners with the Mission Possible Partnership and Rocky Mountain Institute to provide a measurable baseline of emissions and identify recommendations for decarbonization pathways in the Houston region.
An energy-abundant, low-carbon future will impact our region’s power management
It is expected that there will be changes in supply and demand of electricity associated with proposed energy transition and decarbonization projects in the Houston area. HETI has partnered with Mission Possible Partnership and Rocky Mountain Institute to assess the impact of energy transition and decarbonization on the growth and resilience of Houston’s regional power grid and the transmission and distribution of energy.
Making Houston a hub for energy transition finance
Financing energy projects is extremely capital intensive. Houston currently serves as a hub for implementing new technologies, and it has the potential to become a major center for financing innovative energy solutions. This includes everything from more efficient, lower-carbon production of existing resources to technological breakthroughs in energy efficiency, renewables, energy storage, and nature-based solutions. For technological breakthroughs, Houston needs a consistent flow of capital to the region, including sources and financing models from venture capital to growth capital, to debt markets and government grants. HETI’s Capital Formation Working Group has mapped inflows and outflows of capital for the energy transition in Houston and found that we need to grow Houston’s capital inflows ten times by 2040 to $150 billion per year to lead the transition. The Working Group regularly convenes for learning sessions on capital markets.
Over the last year, HETI’s working groups have moved from strategy to impact. To learn more about the outcomes of these working groups, check out these resources.
This article originally ran on the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston Energy Transition Initiative blog. HETI exists to support Houston's future as an energy leader. For more information about the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, EnergyCapitalHTX's presenting sponsor, visit htxenergytransition.org.