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Why Microsoft is investing in Houston as an energy transition leader
Houston is known as the energy capital of the world to many, and major players — from the mayor to corporations — are determined to translate that leadership to the energy transition.
With that in mind, Microsoft has launched its own hub to celebrate the movement — the Energy Transition Center for Excellence, which was announced this spring. The new center, based in the Microsoft Technology Center in Houston, exists to support companies as they evolve their business to be more sustainable and climate-conscious.
“We are proud to have a vast and rich ecosystem of partners that actively co-develop sustainability solutions,” Darryl Willis, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Energy and Resources Industry tells EnergyCapital via email. “Our featured partners demonstrate what is possible across the energy transition value chain from decarbonization to new clean energy solutions.”
Microsoft is behind platforms such as Microsoft Cloud, AI, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and mixed reality, all of which can help to “power transformation,” as Willis puts it.
According to research provider BloombergNEF, it will take an investment of $5.8 trillion into energy transition to achieve a global net-zero by 2050. Not every company is committed to spending the necessary funds to make the sometimes-massive changes to their operations.
But Willis lists nine partners that have actively been collaborating with Microsoft to achieve net-zero goals. Each boasts an exhibit at the Energy Transition Center for Excellence. There, customers have the opportunity to see precisely how Microsoft and those companies are working to make their operations healthier for the planet, from decarbonization to new, clean energy solutions.
For example, Bentley is working with Microsoft to provide digital solutions in offshore wind power. EY is furthering decarbonization with its Hydrogen Pathways, a molecular accounting platform that creates a “holistic view for hydrogen production.” Terra Praxis is behind REPOWER, a standardized system that is helping to repurpose coal plants to create clean energy.
Customers can make an appointment to experience a new energy future through immersive, interactive exhibits built by Microsoft’s partners.
“Many of the energy customers we support on their decarbonization and sustainability efforts are either headquartered or have significant presence in Houston, making it an ideal location for deeper collaboration as we tackle this significant challenge facing the world,” says Willis.
With the city becoming a hub for the incubation of climate tech, Houston is inching ever closer to becoming the Energy Transition Capital of the World.