The energy industry is broadly categorized into exploration and production of oil and gas (upstream), the transportation and refining of oil or processing of gas (midstream), petrochemicals (downstream) and electricity generation (from multiple energy sources including renewables, nuclear, and fossil sources), transmission, distribution and storage including end uses in various industries, residential and in buildings. Several issues cross-cut the energy sector and these include data sciences and cybersecurity, efficiency, sustainability, human factors, policy, management, and regulation. The University of Houston has significant strengths in these areas and these are highlighted in the research pages.
All of these markets and segments are challenged by the dual demand to grow energy and provide reliable, affordable supply AND to affect the transition to a low carbon future state. The CCME is founded on the principle that the energy market will play a pivotal role in achieving this.
The CCME through the support and sponsorship of our advisory members is able to create funded research support for innovative and transformative science and technology. We fund a 12-18 month program of development to progress these concepts and discoveries to the next level of maturity and take great advantage of our industry advisory board to ensure alignment with the business challenges of the energy market. Our goal is to accelerate the development and eventual deployment of transformative carbon management technologies through the process of not simply funding but the cooperative involvement with the industry advisors on the CCME Board. Our goal is to have a series of new proposal and discovery in our innovation pipeline every 18-24 months and to secure next level support for existing ongoing efforts.
Greater Houston is the global hub for oil and gas companies, and the city of Houston has set a goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. A market assessment by Center for Houston’s Future and University of Houston outlines four areas in which the Houston region can lead the global energy transition.
The assessment is the result of a partnership between the Center, UH Energy and the UH Bauer College of Business. Center staff, UH faculty and students and an outside consulting firm conducted a six-month study of Houston’s potential to lead the energy transition.
This work is the first to quantify the scope, size and challenge required to decarbonize Houston’s industrial energy sector and to envision what new industries might emerge from those efforts.
The assessment details opportunities and challenges as the region seeks to lead in four areas: carbon capture, utilization and storage; hydrogen; incorporating more renewable energy into the grid; and the circular economy/plastics recycling.
Among the key findings:
- Carbon management technologies could remove more than 12 million tons of emissions per year from the Houston region by 2030, taking advantage of the region’s globally unmatched geologic capacity. CCUS will be a key enabler of other emissions-reduction strategies, including hydrogen, petrochemicals and renewables integration.
- Houston, already the world’s largest producer of hydrogen, has the potential to create an entirely new zero-carbon hydrogen industry leveraging its existing assets, infrastructure and its leading position in renewables.
- Texas is already a leader in producing low-carbon energy from wind and solar and has the potential via its competitive electricity market to accelerate decarbonization of its grid by growing low-cost renewables, energy storage and green hydrogen.
- Houston is uniquely positioned to eliminate all plastic waste by taking advantage of plastics manufacturing facilities and low-cost renewable energy to innovate advanced recycling technologies.