eavesdropping in Houston
Overheard: How the energy tech ecosystem will evolve and the role of Houston innovators
The energy technology and innovation ecosystem is comprised of stakeholders across the industry — from the academic institutions that house researchers in the field and the entrepreneurs with the big ideas to the venture backers who fund the scaling of these ideas and the corporations who put these new technologies into their supply chain.
A recent panel at CERAWeek by IHS Markit explored where the energy tech ecosystem is headed — and what all needs to be done to advance innovation. Missed the discussion or just want a refresher on on the highlights? Here are some significant overheard moments from the virtual panel.
“We need more energy innovation, and when we think about the energy system of the future there are key areas where we need more technology developed. We all need to encourage and support that early innovation.”
— Barbara Burger, vice president of innovation at Chevron and president of Chevron Technology Ventures. Burger mentions that it's about collaboration. "All of us play a role in a critical part of the development."
“Not only do we have to have the innovation pipeline, but then we’ve got to really move quickly to work with governments, corporations, public-private partnerships that can be formed around these technologies.”
— Ashley Grosh, vice president of Breakthrough Energy. Grosh echoes the need for collaborative efforts. No one part of the equation — such as corporates, scientists, academics, etc. — can move the needle by itself.
“We face a need to run the current energy system extremely well … while also envisioning a new energy system.”
— Burger says. Burger, who alludes to the state's recent power grid failure as an example, says this balancing act is a challenge across the board for energy companies.
“Government is going to have to play aggressively to solve the climate problem.”
— Ilan Gur, CEO of Activate Global Inc., a nonprofit organization that WORKS with U.S.-based funders and research institutions to support a group of fellows. Gur says there needs to be some aspect of incentivization somewhere in the innovation process to drive results.
“Where the market works, let it work. And where it needs help, let’s double down.”
— Burger says, adding that it will take the public, corporations, innovators, and capital to make a difference. "If you can align those all toward derisking then scaling that technology, we will all benefit from the fruits of that labor.