seeing green

Houston is uniquely ready for the energy transition, Rice University research finds

A new study declares that Houston boasts the talent pool, tax advantages, and business-friendly environment to lead in energy transitions. Photo via Getty Images

These days, the term "green energy" has quickly evolved from a potential new resource avenue to political lighting rod — especially in Houston. But now, a new report suggests that the nation's oil and gas leader could be primed to be a green leader.

Houston's "energy capital of the world" status is here to stay — no matter the type of energy — says a new report from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. The study declares that Houston boasts the talent pool, tax advantages, and business-friendly environment to lead in energy transitions.

"With the Port of Houston consistently ranked the nation's largest for waterborne tonnage, foreign imports and vessel transits, Houston has earned its stripes as a global epicenter for logistics and complex supply chain operations," Rice's Ken Medlock notes.

"Managing supply chains, handling materials and deep expertise in chemistry and engineering are all skill sets that drive the oil and gas industry, and they form the basis of Houston's comparative advantage. All are transferable, and will remain important for the development and delivery of all energy services."

The Bayou City is actually "well-positioned" to pioneer the continuing evolution of the global energy system, the study continues.

Public perception aside, Texas is already prepared for the green energy transition, Medlock continues, offering up these stats:

Texas already has more wind capacity than any other state (more than 26 percent of the entire U.S.), and the Lone Star State is home to almost 10 percent of the nation's installed solar capacity and 10 percent of the nation's installed battery capacity

Texas currently accounts for 20 percent of the nation's total non-hydro renewable power capacity, despite only accounting for only 11 percent of the nation's total installed generation capacity.

"This means Texas is ranked No. 1 in wind capacity, No. 2 in battery capacity and No. 3 in solar capacity among every state in the U.S., which puts Texas at the top of all states in terms of installed green power technology capacity," says Medlock.

More on the report can be found here.

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Trending News

Building Houston

 
 

Business and government leaders in the Houston area hope the region can become a hub for CCS activity. Photo via Getty Images

Three big businesses — Air Liquide, BASF, and Shell — have added their firepower to the effort to promote large-scale carbon capture and storage for the Houston area’s industrial ecosystem.

These companies join 11 others that in 2021 threw their support behind the initiative. Participants are evaluating how to use safe carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at Houston-area facilities that provide energy, power generation, and advanced manufacturing for plastics, motor fuels, and packaging.

Other companies backing the CCS project are Calpine, Chevron, Dow, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Linde, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, NRG Energy, Phillips 66, and Valero.

Business and government leaders in the Houston area hope the region can become a hub for CCS activity.

“Large-scale carbon capture and storage in the Houston region will be a cornerstone for the world’s energy transition, and these companies’ efforts are crucial toward advancing CCS development to achieve broad scale commercial impact,” Charles McConnell, director of University of Houston’s Center for Carbon Management in Energy, says in a news release.

McConnell and others say CCS could help Houston and the rest of the U.S. net-zero goals while generating new jobs and protecting current jobs.

CCS involves capturing carbon dioxide from industrial activities that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and then injecting it into deep underground geologic formations for secure and permanent storage. Carbon dioxide from industrial users in the Houston area could be stored in nearby onshore and offshore storage sites.

An analysis of U.S Department of Energy estimates shows the storage capacity along the Gulf Coast is large enough to store about 500 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to more than 130 years’ worth of industrial and power generation emissions in the United States, based on 2018 data.

“Carbon capture and storage is not a single technology, but rather a series of technologies and scientific breakthroughs that work in concert to achieve a profound outcome, one that will play a significant role in the future of energy and our planet,” says Gretchen Watkins, U.S. president of Shell. “In that spirit, it’s fitting this consortium combines CCS blueprints and ambitions to crystalize Houston’s reputation as the energy capital of the world while contributing to local and U.S. plans to help achieve net-zero emissions.”

Trending News