Accelerating the Role of Houston's Energy Industry in the Low-Carbon Future

Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    August 20, 2020
  • Duration:
    20 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.40

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Center for Houston’s Future interviewed stakeholders representing over 30 energy companies, academic institutions and other parties. We also heard presentations by 40 participants at our June 2019 Low-Carbon Energy Summit.
Our research shows Houston is uniquely positioned to play a major role in leading the world to a low-carbon energy future and that significant work is underway here to prepare for that future. The size and scale of Houston’s energy sector and its deep energy expertise, resources and access to capital all argue that Houston could become the world’s Low-Carbon Energy Capital.
We also concluded that much more work is needed to unlock this potential. Current initiatives aren’t coordinated, lack a coherent vision and plan, and are missing opportunities. The pace of change isn’t fast enough to hit a 2°C global carbon emissions pathway by mid-century.
A more substantial effort is required to accelerate progress on two complementary dimensions: Reducing the region’s carbon footprint (industrial operations alone account for ~ 1.5% of total U.S. CO2 emission) and leveraging Houston’s substantial competitive advantages in expertise, capital and scale to develop low-carbon energy solutions that can be sold globally.
Working with energy stakeholders, we plan to create a coalition to act as a regional coordinating force and to catalyze activities needed for Houston to lead in a low-carbon future.
We have identified a series of projects that the Center and/or the coalition should undertake. A sample includes a regional abatement cost curve and setting regional carbon reduction goal, as well as work on carbon recycling and utilization, and hydrogen deployment. We also propose work on creating an innovation hub for low-carbon technologies requiring chemical/process engineering at scale (green chemistry) and on spurring creation of and demand for low-carbon cement, plastics and new transportations fuels.
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