taking notes

Things to know: Greentown Houston's new members, events not to miss

Greentown's updates — and more things to know this week in Houston energy transition news. Photo courtesy of Greentown Labs

Editor's note: Dive headfirst into the new week with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition.


Events not to miss

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

  • 2024 Young Leaders Institute: Renewable Energy and Climate Solutions is taking place July 15 to July 19 at Asia Society of Texas. Register now.
  • CCS/Decarbonization Project Development, Finance and Investment, taking place July 23 to 25, is the deepest dive into the economic and regulatory factors driving the success of the CCS/CCUS project development landscape. Register now.
  • The 5th Texas Energy Forum 2024, organized by U.S. Energy Stream, will take place on August 21 and 22 at the Petroleum Club of Houston. Register now.

Greentown announces new interim CEO, member cos.

Greentown Labs has announced an interim CEO, as well as what companies have come aboard at the dual-located climatetech incubator.

Kevin Dutt, a recently named member of Greentown's board of directors based in the Boston area, has been appointed interim CEO. The decision, made by the board, is effective July 8. Dutt is a management consultant at Sustainable Edge Consulting, as well as an environmental entrepreneur, executive, and adviser with 25 years of experience. Read more about Dutt and the appointment.

The organization also announced that it added nine climatetech startups at the Houston location in Q2 of this year. The new members of the incubator work in a variety of fields from electricity to manufacturing and agriculture. Read more about the new Houston companies.

Texas named affordable state for energy

The Lone Star State is an economical option when it comes to energy costs, one report has found.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, analyzed energy affordability across the 50 states in its new report, Energy Costs by State in 2024, which looked at residential energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.

Texas ranked as the fourth cheapest state for energy, or No. 47 in the report that sorted by most expensive average monthly energy bill. Texans' average energy cost per month is $437, the report found. Read more findings from the new report.

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A View From HETI

Nádia Skorupa Parachin joined Cemvita as vice president of industrial biotechnology. Photo courtesy of Cemvita

Houston-based biotech company Cemvita recently tapped two executives to help commercialize its sustainable fuel made from carbon waste.

Nádia Skorupa Parachin came aboard as vice president of industrial biotechnology, and Phil Garcia was promoted to vice president of commercialization.

Parachin most recently oversaw several projects at Boston-based biotech company Ginkjo Bioworks. She previously co-founded Brazilian biotech startup Integra Bioprocessos.

Parachin will lead the Cemvita team that’s developing technology for production of bio-manufactured oil.

“It’s a fantastic moment, as we’re poised to take our prototyping to the next level, and all under the innovative direction of our co-founder Tara Karimi,” Parachin says in a news release. “We will be bringing something truly remarkable to market and ensuring it’s cost-effective.”

Moji Karimi, co-founder and CEO of Cemvita, says the hiring of Parachin represents “the natural next step” toward commercializing the startup’s carbon-to-oil process.

“Her background prepared her to bring the best out of the scientists at the inflection point of commercialization — really bringing things to life,” says Moji Karimi, Tara’s brother.

Parachin joins Garcia on Cemvita’s executive team.

Before being promoted to vice president of commercialization, Garcia was the startup’s commercial director and business development manager. He has a background in engineering and business development.

Founded in 2017, Cemvita recently announced a breakthrough that enables production of large quantities of oil derived from carbon waste.

In 2023, United Airlines agreed to buy up to one billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel from Cemvita’s first full-scale plant over the course of 20 years.

Cemvita’s investors include the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, an investment arm of Chicago-based United; Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, an investment arm of Houston-based energy company Occidental Petroleum; and Japanese equipment and machinery manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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