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Expert shares 5 key factors for evolving the energy transition in Texas

This expert acknowledges the energy transition is not happening overnight — but it's never too early for Texans looking to get in on the ground floor. Photo via Shutterstock

Humanity faces an inflection point in the coming decade. In order for the world’s population to survive and, ultimately, prosper, especially the population of developing countries such as India, China, and Brazil, significant investment in all forms of energy will be needed. Texas-based energy companies will play a crucial role in developing, advancing and supplying environmentally sensitive forms of energy to meet the world’s insatiable demand.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, global energy consumption is expected to increase by a staggering 50 percent in the next 25 years. Fueled by rapid economic and population growth, this spike in demand is particularly focused within developing Asian countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Taking steps toward energy evolution today is crucial not only for economic progress but also to address the long-term impact of climate change. Research compiled by JLL highlights five key factors to consider.

1. Embracing a gradual evolution

Historically, energy transitions require significant time to be fully realized, often spanning over 50 years. Coal took more than 60 years to grow from a mere 5 percent to a dominant 50 percent share of the world's primary energy supply. Similarly, natural gas took nearly 70 years to increase its market share from 1 percent to 20 percent in the United States. Widespread commercialization of nuclear energy spans as much as 80 years, from the point of initial discovery and application. Major pendulum swings do not occur overnight; the next energy evolution will require adaptability and resilience.

2. Increase in global energy consumption

As non-OECD countries experience periods of economic growth, particularly driven by a growth of the manufacturing sector, these countries’ energy consumption naturally follows suit. Approximately 2.5 billion people live in these regions, which today heavily rely on non-renewable sources to meet basic energy needs.

As OECD countries continue to introduce sustainable technologies like battery power and other alternatives at scale, a transfer of more efficient and eco-friendly sources and technologies to developing communities must occur to reduce the world’s overall carbon footprint.

3. Surging investment in global energy transition

Investments in the global energy transition surpassed $1 trillion in 2022 – a stunning year-over-year increase of 31 percent. These investments are propelling innovative, sustainable solutions and driving the research and development necessary for a more environmentally conscious energy landscape.

4. Diversification and revised renewables forecast

Countries are actively diversifying their energy generation away from natural gas, specifically as a response to the energy crisis sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This push towards sustainable alternatives has received further validation with the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently revising its five-year renewables forecast, emphasizing a significant 28.4 percent increase. This revision serves as a testament to the increasing significance of sustainable energy sources in ensuring a resilient energy future.

5. United States energy production

Even with the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), the United States will maintain its production and export of oil, natural gas, and derivatives. While recognizing the continued role of these traditional energy sources in meeting global energy demands, the United States also acknowledges the imperative of transitioning towards sustainable energy sources. Encouraging companies to embrace alternative energy solutions in line with this transition is now big business, as significant incentives are being provided at federal and state levels.

And what about here in Texas?

In this critical era of global energy evolution, Texas has the opportunity to take center stage, holding the keys not only to its own future but also to those far beyond the state’s borders. With abundant wind power production, vast solar energy potential, a favorable regulatory environment, and attractive tax incentives, Texas is well positioned to be a leader in innovation, research, and production of alternative energy sources. Combined with the presence of many of the country’s leading energy companies, Texas must be a powerhouse for driving a sustainable energy transition on a large scale.

Transforming the global energy landscape will not be accomplished overnight. It requires the collective efforts of governments, industries, companies, and individuals working together towards a common goal. Texas and Texans can serve as a beacon of inspiration, leading the charge in alternative energy adoption and investing today in the next century of energy production and consumption. Ultimately, our example should be one the world can follow.

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Louis Rosenthal is executive managing director at JLL and the global leader of the company's energy and renewables practice group.

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A View From HETI

LiNova will use the funds to advance its polymer cathode battery technology. Photo via Getty Images

A California startup that's revolutionizing polymer cathode battery technology has announced its series A round of funding with support from Houston-based energy transition leaders.

LiNova Energy Inc. closed a $15.8 million series A round led by Catalus Capital. Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, which has its US HQ in Houston, and Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures, also participated in the round with a coalition of other investors.

LiNova will use the funds with its polymer cathode battery to advance the energy storage landscape, according to the company. The company uses a high-energy polymer battery technology that is designed to allow material replacement of the traditional cathode that is made up of cobalt, nickel, and other materials.

The joint development agreement with Saft will have them collaborate to develop the battery technology for commercialization in Saft's key markets.

“We are proud to collaborate with LiNova in scaling up its technology, leveraging the extensive experience of Saft's research teams, our newest prototype lines, and our industrial expertise in battery cell production," Cedric Duclos, CEO of Saft, says in a news release.

CTV recently announced its $500 million Future Energy Fund III, which aims to lead on emerging mobility, energy decentralization, industrial decarbonization, and the growing circular economy. Chevron has promised to spend $10 billion on lower carbon energy investments and projects by 2028.

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