where to be
With the return of in-person programming, hundreds of energy experts, C-level executives, diplomats, members of royal families, and more are descending upon Houston for the 2022 CERAWeek by IHS Markit taking place in downtown March 7 to 11. The conference is bringing back its Agora track, focused on innovation within the energy sector.
Agora's events — thought-provoking panels, intimate pods, and more — will take place alongside the main conference at The Hilton Americas-Houston. A note to attendees that masks, proof of vaccination, and a negative COVID test are all required at registration.
As one might expect, Houston innovators will be attending and speaking at this energy industry mainstay. Here are five innovation-focused events you can't miss during CERAWeek that feature Houstonians.
Monday, March 7 — Innovations in Clean Tech Financing: Are investors ready & willing?
Investor demand for clean tech assets has been a leading indicator for company-level action on energy transition strategies. With higher commodity prices attracting renewed interest in the role of oil and gas companies as energy transition drivers, investors have once again reengaged with elements of the industry that were difficult to fund only months ago. What is the balance for clean tech plays versus progress on net-zero approaches at existing firms? How do legacy business models need to change to adapt to investor concerns about the pace of the energy transition? How can companies better communicate with investors on clean tech deployment strategies, and how can investors speak the language of industry operators?
- Peter Gardett, IHS Markit
- Juliana Garaizar, Greentown Labs
- Brent Newcomb, Ecofin
- Deepa Poduval, Black & Veatch
The panel takes place at 2 pm in the Agora Pod. Click here to learn more.
Monday, March 7 — AI in the Energy Production Process: Unlocking energy transition opportunities
The world is pursuing a lower-carbon energy mix with great intent and energy companies are grasping new opportunities that encompass much more of the energy value chain than old business models, including closer engagement with end-use customers. Headwinds exist in the form of high costs, the pace of change and ever-changing regulatory burdens. All companies are embracing digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) seems set to have a significant role in a rapidly changing, data-intense energy value chain. How might AI help unlock new and enhanced opportunities? What methods can help manage the mix of weather-dependent renewable energy and traditional energy sources to ensure low-carbon reliable supplies? How can we navigate and derive advantages from the new proximity between producers and end-users to drive efficiency and reduce cost? What risks or challenges remain to be mitigated or solved in applying AI to energy production? How quickly can we overcome them?
- Michael Wynn, IHS Markit
- Jon Guidroz, Microsoft
- Francois Laborie, Cognite
- Amish Sabharwal, AVEVA
The panel takes place at 4 pm in the Agora Pod. Click here to learn more.
Tuesday, March 8 — New Business Models for Bringing Climate Tech Solutions to Scale
As the energy system decarbonizes, it is becoming more complex and more interconnected. Today’s emerging energy system is fundamentally different, forcing companies to compete globally. New technologies will have to be developed to meet climate ambitions, evolving energy uses, and emerging new supply chains. How will corporate structures and business models change as new opportunities, but also new threats, emerge? What new business models can scale new technologies to support decarbonization efforts? What opportunities and challenges will companies face?
- Eduard Sala de Vedruna, IHS Markit
- Barbara Burger, Chevron Corporation
- Matt Kanan, Stanford University
- Ernesto Gutiérrez de Piñeres, Ecopetrol
The panel takes place at 10:30 am in the Agora Pod. Click here to learn more.
Wednesday, March 9 — Energy Cities: From oil capitals to energy transition capitals
Cities are the source of significant climate-changing activity and mobility challenges and need to cooperate globally for solutions. What steps are the cities taking to tackle climate change and where are the leaders globally?
- Lyn Tattum, IHS Markit
- Hon. Fahad Al-Jubair, Eastern Province Municipality
- Hon. Barney Crockett, Aberdeen City Council
- His Worship Michael Savage, Halifax Regional Municipality
- Hon. Sylvester Turner, City of Houston
The panel takes place at 2:30 pm in the Agora Pod. Click here to learn more.
Thursday, March 10 — Advancing Energy Innovation: Growth of the ecosystem
Originating in the Silicon Valley, the term “Innovation Ecosystem is the evolving set of actors, activities, and artifacts, and the institutions and relations, including complementary and substitute relations, that are important for the innovative performance of an actor or a population of actors.” Creating energy sector innovation ecosystems has been challenging due to a multitude of participants, access to capital, role of governments, and challenges scaling promising technologies. With the need to develop and scale new technologies to achieve net zero by 2050, energy innovation will be the linchpin. What are critical factors for creating successful clean energy/tech innovation centers? Where are the most successful cleantech innovation ecosystems, and what makes them successful? Does the nature of the energy system make it less receptive to new ideas and innovations? How could governments incentivize these ecosystems? How could the pace of knowledge transfer be accelerated from innovation to deployment? With future growth in energy demand and investments centered in developing countries, how can new ecosystems be created in these countries?
- Atul Arya, IHS Markit
- Barbara Burger, Chevron Corporation
- Robin Millican, Breakthrough Energy
- Emily Reichert, Greentown Labs
The panel takes place at 12:30 pm in the Agora Pod. Click here to learn more.
Thursday, March 10 — “NextGen” Future Energy Leaders Town Hall
The race is on for innovative, fresh approaches to solve the world’s greatest energy and climate challenges. The emerging generation of future energy leaders, technologists, and entrepreneurs have unprecedented opportunity for impact and to create real change. The energy world is hungry and open to disruptive ideas. There never has been a more exciting—or urgent—time to be part of the energy industry. Join this special interactive “Next Gen” dynamic session, featuring rapid-fire insights by leading minds on energy innovation, along with CERAWeek Future Energy Leaders. How can we achieve net zero ambitions by 2050? How can we tackle climate change while meeting the planet’s need for more energy? What are the promising and scalable technologies? What are the challenges and most exciting opportunities?
- Louis Carranza, MIT Energy Initiative
- Ali Al Rawahi, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)
- Dr. Douglas J. Arent, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
- Juliana Garaizar, Greentown Labs
- Sunita Narain, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
- Jigar Shah, United States Department of Energy
- Anish Simon, Equinor
- Vijay Swarup, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company
- Jordan Watson, Korn Ferry
- Darryl Willis, Microsoft Corporation
The panel takes place at 5 pm in the Agora Pod. Click here to learn more.