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Greentown's new investment initiative, Syzygy opens orders, and more trending Houston energy transition news

These were this week's most-read articles on EnergyCapital. Photo via Greentown Labs

Editor's note: From a new Houston energy transition exec to strategic partnerships and acquisitions, these are the top headlines that resonated with EnergyCapital readers on social media and daily newsletter this week.

Greentown Houston announces new investor program to increase equity in climatetech funding

The Houston Ion District Investor Activation Program is open to accredited investors and free to join. Photo via GreentownLabs.com

Greentown Labs has announced a new program to address inequity and unavailability of funding for early-stage climatetech startups.

The Houston Ion District Investor Activation Program is supported by a Build to Scale Capital Challenge grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, open to accredited investors, and free to join.

Participating investors will have access to curated startup introductions based on preferred stage, industry, check size, and more, plus access to information on startups and investor-specific newsletters featuring Greentown startups invite-only events. Continue reading.

Innovative Houston energy company opens orders for groundbreaking tech following successful testing

Syzygy has completed more than 1,500 hours of testing of the cell to generate hydrogen from ammonia. Photo via Syzygy

Houston-based Syzygy Plasmonics is charging ahead with the world’s first light-powered reactor cell for industrial chemical reactions.

Syzygy says its Rigel reactor cell has met initial performance targets and is now available to order. The cell enables a customer to produce up to five tons of low-carbon hydrogen per day.

Syzygy has completed more than 1,500 hours of testing of the cell to generate hydrogen from ammonia. Testing of the ammonia e-cracking cell began in late 2023 and is still taking place. Continue reading.

Houston energy transition leader to spearhead urban reforestation initiative

SCS Technologies named Jane Stricker, executive director of HETI, as the executive chairperson of its inaugural urban reforestation event next month. Photo via GHP

One of Houston's foremost energy transition leaders has been named to a community urban reforestation project from a Texas energy company.

Big Spring, Texas-based SCS Technologies named Jane Stricker, executive director of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Houston Energy Transition Initiative, as the executive chairperson of its inaugural urban reforestation event next month.

SCS, a provider of liquid hydrocarbon, water, and CO2 measurement systems, is holding the event on March 23 at the Galena Park Resource and Training Center in Galena Park, Texas, in collaboration with One Tree Planted and Trees for Houston. Continue reading.

Report: Texas shines as top state for new solar, battery capacity

Texas will make up 35 percent of new utility-scale solar capacity in the U.S. this year. Photo via Getty Images

On a state-by-state basis, Texas will account for the biggest share of new utility-scale solar capacity and new battery storage capacity in 2024, a new federal report predicts.

The report, published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), says Texas will make up 35 percent of new utility-scale solar capacity in the U.S. this year, followed by California (10 percent) and Florida (six percent).

In 2024, EIA expects a record-setting addition of 36.4 gigawatts of utility-scale solar capacity across the U.S., nearly double last year’s record-setting addition of 18.4 gigawatts. One gigawatt of electric-generating capacity can power an average of 750,000 homes. Continue reading.

Houston-based energy storage fintech platform founder targets new market key to transition

Tierra Climate is technology agnostic, so while the company is seeing activity in the battery space, they can also work with other types of storage. Photo via Getty Images

If the energy transition is going to be successful, the energy storage space needs to be equipped to support both the increased volume of energy needed and new energies. And Emma Konet and her software company, Tierra Climate, are targeting one part of the equation: the market.

"To me, it's very clear that we need to build a lot of energy storage in order to transition the grid," Konet says on the Houston Innovators Podcast. "The problems that I saw were really on the market side of things." Continue reading.

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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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