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Houston's $1.2B win, events not to miss, and other things to know in energy transition this week

Houston scores federal funding for energy transition projects — and more things to know this week. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note: It's a new week — start it strong with three quick things to know in Houston's energy transition ecosystem: Federal funding deployed in Houston, a podcast to stream, and more.


Federal funding deals in HOU

DOE has granted funds big and small to Houston energy organizations. Photo via Getty Images

The big news last week was that a Houston-area project been announced as one of the seven regions to receive a part of the $7 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to advance domestic hydrogen production. President Biden and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm named the seven regions to receive funding in a White House statement on Friday, October 13. The Gulf Coast's project, HyVelocity Hydrogen Hub, will receive up to $1.2 billion — the most any hub will receive. Read more.

Also this month, the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy deployed $10 million into three projects working on superconducting tape innovation. Two of these projects are based on research from the University of Houston. Superconductivity — found only in certain materials — is a focus point for the DOE because it allows for the conduction of direct electric current without resistance or energy loss. Read more.

Must-attend events

Upcoming events to put on your radar. Photo via Getty Images

Put these upcoming events on your radar.

  • October 30-31 — Fuze is a must-attend event for executives, investors, and founders serious about solving the energy crisis and boosting company efficiency. Learn more.
  • November 1 — The Greentown Labs Climatetech Summit 2023 will feature energy transition startups, thought leaders, and more both in person and online. Learn more.
  • November 8 — The Houston Innovation Awards will honor the city's startups, entrepreneurs, and ecosystem, including energy tech innovators. Learn more.

Today's listen: Energy Tech Startups

Rawand Rasheed, the CEO and founder of Helix Earth Technologies, joins the Energy Tech Startups podcast. Photo via LinkedIn

Excessive energy consumption in air conditioning systems is a pressing issue with far-reaching implications for carbon emissions and climate change.

Rawand Rasheed, the CEO and founder of Helix Earth Technologies, is at the forefront of addressing this challenge. With a distinguished background as an aerospace engineer with NASA, Rawand’s expertise is now channeled towards the built environment and heavy industries.

In a recent episode of Energy Tech Startups, we dive into how Rawand’s journey from space technology innovations is now revolutionizing energy consumption in air conditioning systems.


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A View From HETI

After recently divesting from wind and solar energy initiatives, Shell has plans to quadruple EV charging stations in the next several years. Photo via shell.com

As it downshifts sales of fuel for traditional vehicles, energy giant Shell is stepping up its commitment to public charging stations for electric vehicles.

In a new report on energy transition, Shells lays out an aggressive plan for growing its public network of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs). The company plans to boost the global number of public EV charging stations from about 54,000 today to around 70,000 by 2025 and about 200,000 by 2030.

The projected growth from today to 2030 would represent a 270 percent increase in the number of Shell-operated EV charging stations.

“We have a major competitive advantage in terms of locations, as our global network of service stations is one of the largest in the world,” Shell says in the report.

Shell’s global network of service stations is shrinking, though. In the report, the company reveals plans to close a total of 1,000 gas stations in 2024 and 2025. Today, more than 45,000 Shell-branded gas stations are located in over 90 countries.

Aside from Shell gas stations, the company’s Shell Recharge business unit operates public EV charging stations along streets, at grocery stores, and at other locations in 33 countries.

Shell, whose U.S. headquarters is in Houston, is ramping up its EV charging network amid forecasts of slowing demand for oil and rising demand for EVs. Other than EV charging, Shell is focusing on biofuels and integrated power as components of its revamped product mix.

“Shell is well positioned to become a profitable leader in public charging for electric vehicles, meeting the growing demand from drivers who need to charge on the go,” the report says.

To accelerate its EV charging presence in the U.S., Shell in 2023 purchased Volta, a San Francisco-based operator of EV charging stations. Shell says it now operates one of the largest public EV charging networks in the U.S., with more than 3,000 charging points in 31 states and another 3,400 under development.

“The availability of charging points will be critical for the growth in electric vehicles,” the report says.

Last month, Shell divested from a solar energy subsidiary, before later announcing an exit from a wind energy joint venture.

"In-line with our Powering Progress strategy, Shell continues to hone our portfolio of renewable generation projects in key markets where we have an advantaged position," Glenn Wright, senior vice president at Shell Energy Americas, said in a news release at the time.

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