Texas' solar market will be missing about three hours of sunlight today — and more things to know this week. Photo courtesy of NASA

Editor's note: Dive headfirst into the new week with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a roundup of events not to miss, what to expect from the eclipse, and more.


Eyes on ERCOT amid eclipse

For three hours today, Texas' solar energy market will be affected by the solar eclipse. According to a report from the Environment Texas Research & Policy Center, Texas ranks third in the U.S. for residential solar power generation, so the moon's interception to the sunlight can be a real test to ERCOT, which reported that they have worked with solar forecast vendors on what to expect from solar generation on the grid during the eclipse.

"As we did in preparation for the October 2023 eclipse, ERCOT is actively monitoring the forecasts and available dispatchable capacity for April 8," reads a statement from the organization's March report. "ERCOT will rely on Ancillary Services and other actions to posture the system as necessary during the eclipse to compensate for both the reduction and increase in solar generation on this day and maintain grid reliability. ERCOT has been engaging Market Participants so that they are prepared for the eclipse and expects sufficient generation to meet demand."

Events not to miss

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

  • The Digital Wildcatters is hosting its Energy Tech Night in Houston on April 17. Register.
  • On April 17, the University of Houston presents "Gulf Coast Hydrogen Ecosystem: Opportunities & Solutions" featuring experts from academia, industry, government, and more. The symposium begins at 8 am with a networking reception takes place beginning at 5 pm at the University of Houston Student Center South - Theater Room. Register.
  • Ally Energy is hosting its Unconference - Energy 2.0 on April 17 to explore the energy renaissance. Register.
  • The inaugural, student-led TEX-E Conference is taking place on April 19 at TMC's Helix Park. The event’s mission is to empower budding student entrepreneurs to advance their climatetech ventures and inspire industry leaders to support these groundbreaking startups coming out of Texas’ universities. Register.
  • Offshore Technology Conference returns to Houston May 6 to 9. Register.

Really big deal: Shell's EV charging plans

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. Read the full story.

Looking back on CERAWeek 2024 — and more things to know this week. Photo courtesy of CERAWeek

CERAWeek in review, a podcast to stream, and more things to know in Houston energy transition this week

take note

Editor's note: Dive headfirst into the new week with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a roundup of events not to miss, a podcast to stream, and more.

CERAWeek in review

Last week, we wrapped up the top five themes of CERAWeek on EnergyCapital, including geothermal, the rise of AI, and more.

Let's look back on all the articles from the conference, in case you missed it:

Podcast to stream: Sean Kelly of Amperon

Sean Kelly says he didn't seek to start a clean tech company. He saw a need and opportunity for more accurate energy forecasting, and he built it.

But Amperon has made it on lists highlighting energy transition innovation on more than one occasion — and caught the eye of renewable energy giants.

"We don't brand ourselves as a clean tech company," Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Amperon, says on the Houston Innovators Podcast, "but we have four of the top six or eight wind providers who have all invested in Amperon. So, there's something there."

The technology that Amperon provides its customers — a comprehensive, AI-backed data analytics platform — is majorly key to the energy industry and the transition of the sector. Read more.

Events not to miss

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

  • The Digital Wildcatters is hosting its Energy Tech Night in Houston on April 17. Register.
  • On April 17, the University of Houston presents "Gulf Coast Hydrogen Ecosystem: Opportunities & Solutions" featuring experts from academia, industry, government, and more. The symposium begins at 8 am with a networking reception takes place beginning at 5 pm at the University of Houston Student Center South - Theater Room. Register.
  • Offshore Technology Conference returns to Houston May 6 to 9. Register.

Here's what to attend at CERAWeek. Photo via CERAWeek.com

Things to know this week: Houstonian's guide to CERAWeek 2024

take note

Editor's note: Dive headfirst into the new week with things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition — a special CERAWeek 2024 edition. Check out these must-attend events at the conference, which is going on all week in Downtown Houston.

Monday, March 18, at 4:30 pm — IRA at One and a Half Years: What is the impact?

Billions of dollars have poured into the energy sector to spur investment and production of technology to fight climate change through the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) 18 months ago. Experts weigh in on the successes so far and any challenges and obstacles that have arisen.

  • Roman Kramarchuk, S&P Global Commodity Insights Head – Climate Markets and Policy Analytics
  • Jigar Shah, United States Department of Energy Director, Loan Programs Office
  • Kevin Gresham, RWE Senior Vice President, Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs
  • Steve Smith, National Grid Group Head of Strategy, Innovation and Market Analytics, National Grid | President, National Grid Partners

Tuesday, March 19, at 1 pm  — Everything is Bigger in Texas: Building Hydrogen City

Announced in 2022, the largest green hydrogen production, storage and transport hub is being developed in South Texas. It will be powered by behind-the-meter solar and wind and the first phase is expected to produce 1/4 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year. The project developers will provide an update on the early stages of the project.

  • Toshiaki Takimoto, INPEX Corporation Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Corporate Strategy & Planning and Head of Net Zero Business
  • Kenneth Medlock, Rice University, Baker Institute Senior Director, Center for Energy Studies
  • Noah Feingold, S&P Global Consulting Associate Director
  • Brian Maxwell, Green Hydrogen International Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Wednesday, March 20, at 1 pm — Houston Energy Initiative Energy Venture Day and Pitch Competition

Join The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, the Houston Energy Transition Initiative and the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy (TEX-E) for the third annual Energy Venture Day and Pitch Competition at CERAWeek. The pitch day will feature more than 40 energy ventures driving efficiency and advancements toward the energy transition. The fast-paced competition is designed to connect energy startups with venture capitalists, corporate innovation groups, industry leaders, academics and service providers.

Read more about the event here.

Thursday, March 21, at 1 pm — Luncheon & Dialogue with Bill Gates

Legendary Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who founded Breakthrough Energy and TerraPower, is headed to town for the 2024 CERAWeek. Gates will be featured in a luncheon fireside chat with S&P Global's Daniel Yergin.

HETI House

Drop by the Houston Energy Transition Initiative's HETI House at CERAWeek for a tour or one of the fireside chats.

Commercializing low carbon technology: unique partnerships between industry and academia

Woodside Energy + Rice University

Monday, March 18 | 2 p.m.

  • Tony Almond – VP of Technology & Innovation, Woodside Energy
  • Aditya Mohite – Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Associate Professor, Materials Science and Nanoengineering, Rice University

In 2024, Woodside Energy and Rice University in Houston announced a five-year technology collaboration aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing lower carbon solutions. Woodside will provide $12.5 million to fund the creation of the Woodside-Rice Decarbonization Accelerator, an initiative that aims to bring breakthrough decarbonization technology from the Rice labs to market, with a specific focus on manufacturing products derived from captured carbon dioxide and methane. Specifically, Rice hopes to leverage cold plasma technology, a unique approach to breaking down carbon dioxide. These products have potential applications to make better batteries, transistors, and other critical materials for energy technologies.

Investing in our academic institutions and talent in the energy capital of the world

Shell + University of Houston Energy Transition Institute

Tuesday, March 19 | 9:30 a.m.

  • Jenny Philip, Energy Transition U.S. Senior Advisor, Shell
  • Scott Nyquist, Energy Advisory Board, University of Houston. Vice-Chair, Houston Energy Transition Initiative, Greater Houston Partnership
  • Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chief Energy Officer, University of Houston

Funded by Shell USA, Inc and Shell Global Solutions, US Inc, the University of Houston’s new Energy Transition Institute (ETI) empowers the next generation of energy leaders; develops and accelerates energy solutions, including hydrogen, carbon management and circular materials at scale; and informs policies to address our most pressing challenge to provide secure, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy for all. Learn more about how University of Houston’s ETI is driving research, innovation and workforce development to support the transition to a low-carbon, energy-abundant future.

How Houston Leads: Engaging Communities and Creating Opportunity in the Energy Transition

Calpine + Houston Energy Transition Initiative

Wednesday, March 20 | 10 a.m.

  • Brett Kerr, Vice President, External Affairs, Calpine
  • Jane Stricker, Houston Energy Transition Initiative + Greater Houston Partnership

Houston has long been regarded as the Energy Capital of the World. As the industry continues to innovate and deploy projects for an energy-abundant, low-carbon future, engaging communities and creating opportunity for all will be critical. In this session, Jane and Brett will discuss the engagement approaches leading energy companies are putting into practice to expand opportunity for all communities. Come learn about best practices, key challenges and new methods for building sustained relationships with communities.

Scaling carbon-neutral gasoline – feed to construction

HIF Global + Bechtel

Thursday, March 21 | 10 a.m.

  • Brooke Vandygriff, Chief Operations Officer, HIF USA
  • Rich Wall, Principal Vice President & General Manager Downstream, Chemicals & Advanced Fuels, Bechtel

HIF Global, the world’s leading eFuels company, has selected Bechtel Energy, Siemens Energy, and Topsoe to conduct the front-end engineering and design (“FEED”) of a facility to be constructed in Matagorda County, Texas, to produce carbon-neutral gasoline. When operational, the HIF Matagorda eFuels Facility will produce fuel that can be dropped-in to vehicles in use today without any modification to existing engines or the infrastructure on which they depend. Come hear more about this innovative technology and the Matagorda facility from Bechtel Energy and HIF Global.

24/7 carbon-free energy: from startup to scale in houston

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries + Fervo Energy

Thursday, March 21 | 2 p.m.

  • Tim Latimer, Chief Executive Officer, Fervo Energy
  • Takajiro Ishikawa, President & CEO, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced its investment in Fervo Energy (Fervo), an innovative enhanced geothermal technology startup headquartered in Houston, Texas. MHI joins a consortium of strategic investors, including Devon Energy Corporation (Devon), Marunouchi Innovation Partners (MIP). Over the last few years, Fervo has adapted innovations pioneered by the oil and gas industry, such as horizontal drilling and distributed fiber optic sensing, to make reservoirs of hot rock that exist beneath the earth’s surface into practical, economically viable, carbon-free sources of energy that can be used as heat sources both for industrial and power generation. Learn more about how this clean energy startup is commercializing solutions for the transitions by building relationships with world leading energy and technology companies.

Energy Tech Innovation Lounge (no badge required)

Houston Innovation Leaders and Founders is hosting a free Energy Tech Innovation Lounge that's open daily from 10 am to 5 pm at 808 Travis Street. Each day has programing and networking — click here to learn more.

Bill Gates was announced as a keynote speaker at CERAWeek — and more things to know this week. Photo via breakthroughenergy.org

Bill Gates headed to CERAWeek, Houston leader calls for collaboration, and more things to know this week

take note

Editor's note: Dive headfirst into the new week with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a roundup of events not to miss, a podcast to stream, and more.

Bill Gates heads to Houston for CERAWeek by S&P Global

Legendary Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who founded Breakthrough Energy and TerraPower, is headed to town for the 2024 CERAWeek. Gates will be featured in a luncheon fireside chat with S&P Global's Daniel Yergin on Thursday, March 21, at 1 pm.

CERAWeek by S&P Global 2024, with its theme of "Multidimensional Energy Transition: Markets, climate, technology and geopolitics," will zero in on the world's journey to zero-carbon, specifically exploring "strategies for a multidimensional, multispeed and multifuel energy transition," according to a news release. The programming will reflect on the reality of the energy transition, including its progress in different regions and across industries, technologies, and politics. Learn more.

Podcast: Scott Gale of Halliburton Labs calls for collaboration

Scott Gale will be the first to admit that hosting a week of curated events targeted to a group of individuals within the tech and energy space isn't a novel idea — Climate Week NYC has been taking over Manhattan for over a decade. But Gale believes Houston deserves to have its own time to shine.

Earlier this month, Halliburton Labs, Rice Alliance, and Greentown Houston announced the inaugural Houston Energy and Climate Startup Week 2024 to take place in September, but Gale, executive director of Halliburton Labs, says he hopes this is just the beginning of Houston organizations coming together to collaborate on the initiative.

"I think we have a really awesome initial coalition. Whether your the fifth company or organization to raise its hand to do something that week or the 50th — it really doesn't matter," Gale says on the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It really is an open invitation — and I want to make that super clear."

Events not to miss

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

  • CERAWeek 2024 is Monday, March 18, to Friday, March 22, in the George R. Brown Convention Center. Register.
  • DeCarb Connect supports senior leaders in decarbonization to accelerate strategy and decision making to reduce carbon emissions and reach net zero targets. The event is March 26 to 28 at Westin Houston Memorial City. Register.
  • On March 27, Greentown Houston is hosting "Accelerating Net-Zero Solutions: CCUS Innovation and Startup Showcase." Watch the Go Make 2023 cohort pitch their innovations in carbon utilization, storage, and traceability; hear about their work with Shell throughout the startup-corporate-partnerships accelerator; and learn from CCUS industry experts. Register.
  • On April 17, the University of Houston presents "Gulf Coast Hydrogen Ecosystem: Opportunities & Solutions" featuring experts from academia, industry, government, and more. The symposium begins at 8 am with a networking reception takes place beginning at 5 pm at the University of Houston Student Center South - Theater Room. Register.

Houston energy transition folks — here's what to know to start your week. Photo via Getty Images

Rice to open applications for clean energy program, Houston events not to miss and more things to know

take note

Editor's note: Dive headfirst into the new week with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a roundup of events not to miss, a deadline not to miss, and more.

ICYMI: Clean energy networking and showcase coming to Houston in September

Greentown Labs, Halliburton Labs, and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship have announced Houston Energy and Climate Startup Week 2024 taking place September 9 to 13.

“These organizations will execute events that will serve as a launching pad for an Energy and Climate Startup Week in Houston, showcasing the city as a national hub for the energy future,” Brad Burke, executive director of the Rice Alliance, says in the release. “We welcome the community to bring other energy and climate events to the week, which we’ll cross-promote as the dates approach.”

The week will assemble investors, industry leaders, and startups from across the energy industry and from around the world to showcase Houston's growing sustainable, low-carbon energy future. Read more about the inaugural week.

Rice's Clean Energy Accelerator to open applications for its next cohort

The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator helps seed-stage startups from around the world developing clean energy solutions achieve technical and commercial milestones that accelerate development, establish market adoption, and expand their reach.

Applications for Class Four go live on March 4 and close on March 29. Rice Alliance is hosting an info session on March 5. More details on the program and registration for the session can be found online.

Events not to miss

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

  • Hydrogen networking at Greentown Labs is Tuesday, February 20, at 4:30 pm at Greentown Houston. Register.
  • The Future of Energy Across the Americas: Helping Lawyers Predict and Adapt — the 2024 Houston Energy Conference — is February 27 to March 1. Register.
  • CERAWeek 2024 is Monday, March 18, to Friday, March 22, in the George R. Brown Convention Center. Register.

Houston energy transition folks — here's what to know to start your week. Photo via Pexels

Houston biotech's new CFO, new Texas solar project, and more energy transition things to know this week

take note

Editor's note: Dive headfirst into the new week with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a roundup of events not to miss, a new Houston energy executive to know, and more.

Big deal: Houston solar company acquires Texas project site

Aggreko’s Energy Transition Solutions division has acquired the 13 MW behind-the-meter solar power project site, and the company will oversee construction, own, and operate the facility.

“Texas is an attractive market for these types of C&I projects, thanks to its robust solar resource, ease of development, and an efficient ERCOT grid connection process for projects of this size," Prashanth Prakash, Aggreko ETS chief commercial officer, says in a news release. "This project serves as another example of how we help commercial and industrial customers meet their decarbonization goals.” Read more.

New hire: Houston sustainable biotech company names new CFO

Lisa Bromiley has joined Cemvita as CFO. Bromiley will work on spearheading capital markets, strategic positioning, and financial management of the company.

"We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Bromiley to Cemvita as our CFO,” Moji Karimi, CEO of Cemvita, says in a news release. “She joins us at an inflection point in our growth trajectory and I’m confident that Lisa's strategic financial acumen will play a pivotal role in driving Cemvita's continued success." Read more.

Events not to miss

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

  • Hydrogen networking at Greentown Labs is Tuesday, February 20, at 4:30 pm at Greentown Houston. Register.
  • The Future of Energy Across the Americas: Helping Lawyers Predict and Adapt — the 2024 Houston Energy Conference — is February 27 to March 1. Register.
  • CERAWeek 2024 is Monday, March 18, to Friday, March 22, in the George R. Brown Convention Center. Register.

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Chevron backs carbon capture tech company in $45M investment round

fresh funding

Chevron New Energies has a new cleantech company in its portfolio.

Boulder, Colorado-based ION Clean Energy announces it has raised $45 million in financing. The round was led by Chevron New Energies with participation from New York-based Carbon Direct Capital. Founded in 2008, ION's carbon dioxide capture technologies lower costs and make CO2 capture a more viable option for hard-to-abate emissions.

“We have truly special solvent technology. It is capable of very high capture efficiency with low energy use while simultaneously being exceptionally resistant to degradation with virtually undetectable emissions. That’s a pretty powerful combination that sets us apart from the competition. The investments from Chevron and Carbon Direct Capital are a huge testament to the hard work of our team and the potential of our technology,” ION founder and Executive Chairman Buz Brown says in a news release. “We appreciate their collaboration and with their investments we expect to accelerate commercial deployment of our technology so that we can realize the kind of wide-ranging commercial and environmental impact we’ve long envisioned.”

The funding will go toward ION’s organizational growth and commercial deployment of its ICE-31 liquid amine carbon capture technology.

“We continue to make progress on our goal to deliver the full value chain of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) as a business, and we believe ION is a part of this solution. ION has consistent proof points in technology performance, recognition from the Department of Energy, partnerships with global brands, and a strong book of business that it brings to the relationship,” Chris Powers, vice president of CCUS and emerging with CNE, says in the release. “ION’s solvent technology, combined with Chevron’s assets and capabilities, has the potential to reach numerous emitters and support our ambitions of a lower carbon future. We believe collaborations like this are essential to our efforts to grow carbon capture on a global scale.”

With the new investment, the company announced that Timothy Vail will join the company as CEO. He previously was CEO of Arbor Renewable Gas and founder and CEO of G2X Energy Inc. He also serves as an Operating Partner for OGCI Climate Investments.

"With these investments, we are well positioned to grow ION into a worldwide provider of high-performance point source capture solutions,” Vail says. “This capital allows us to accelerate the commercial deployment of our carbon capture technology.”

LyondellBasell announces renewable energy power purchase agreement with German partner

power move

Houston-based chemical company LyondellBasell has agreed to secure 208 megawatts of renewable energy capacity from a solar park in Germany.

Under the 12-year deal, LyondellBasell will purchase about 210 gigawatt-hours of solar power each year from Germany-based Encavis Asset Management. That’s enough energy to power about 56,500 homes each year.

LyondellBasell aims to purchase at least half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The deal with Encavis will enable LyondellBasell to achieve more than 90 percent of that goal.

A report from BloombergNEF ranks LyondellBasell as the world’s third largest corporate buyer of clean energy, behind Amazon and Meta.

“This latest agreement will accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy across different sectors in Germany,” says Chris Cain, LyondellBasell’s senior vice president for net-zero transition strategy.

Construction of the solar park got underway in March, with completion set for next summer. The park’s total generating capacity for solar power will be 260 megawatts, which is enough to supply electricity to about 96,000 homes per year.

“Leveraging our industry know-how, we are committed to operating the solar park in an environmentally sustainable and economically profitable manner,” says Karsten Mieth, a spokesman for Encavis Asset Management.

Encavis Asset Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Encavis, a large-scale producer of wind and solar power in Europe.

Houston initiative selected for DOE program developing hubs for clean energy innovation

community focus

Houston has been selected as one of the hubs backed by a new program from the United States Department of Energy that's developing communities for clean energy innovation.

The DOE's Office of Technology Transitions announced the the first phase of winners of the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters, or EPIC, Round 3. The local initiative is one of 23 incubators and accelerators that was awarded $150,000 to support programming for energy startups and entrepreneurs.

The Houston-based participant is called "Texas Innovates: Carbon and Hydrogen Innovation and Learning Incubator," or CHILI, and it's a program meant to feed startups into the DOE recognized HyVelocity program and other regional decarbonization efforts.

EPIC was launched to drive innovation at a local level and to inspire commercial success of energy startups. It's the third year of the competition that wraps up with a winning participant negotiating a three-year cooperative agreement with OTT worth up to $1 million.

“Incubators and Accelerators are uniquely positioned to provide startups things they can't get anywhere else -- mentorship, technology validation, and other critical business development support," DOE Chief Commercialization Officer and Director of OTT Vanessa Z. Chan says in a news release. “The EPIC program allows us to provide consistent funding to organizations who are developing robust programming, resources, and support for innovative energy startups and entrepreneurs.”

CHILI, the only participant in Texas, now moves on to the second phase of the competition, where they will design a project continuation plan and programming for the next seven months to be submitted in September.

where they’ll implement their programming and design a project continuation plan over the next 7 months. In September they will submit their plans with the hope of being selected to negotiate a three-year cooperative agreement with OTT, worth up to $1 million each.

Phase 2 also includes two national pitch competitions with a total of $165,000 in cash prizes up for grabs for startups. The first EPIC pitch event for 2024 will be in June at the 2024 Small Business Forum & Expo in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Last fall, the DOE selected the Gulf Coast's project, HyVelocity Hydrogen Hub, as one of the seven regions to receive a part of the $7 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The hub was announced to receive up to $1.2 billion — the most any hub will get.


The DOE's OTT selections are nationwide. Photo via energy.gov