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The New Clean Energy Economy Is Bigger In Texas

Texas is quickly becoming a top choice for clean energy companies. The large number of chemical engineers living in the Lone Star State and the wealth of existing infrastructure ready to be converted to carry carbon dioxide or hydrogen add up to an irresistible combination for renewables startups

Several big energy companies are pursuing new hydrogen projects across the large state. Estimates suggest the new hydrogen economy alone — not to mention all other clean energy sectors — could be worth as much as $100 billion in Texas.

Photo Courtesy HIF Global 

Much of Texas’ draw is due to its unique history. Prior to the turn of the 20th century, it was mostly rural. In that century’s first few decades, the oil industry expanded from Beaumont to El Paso, Amarillo to Laredo. Since then, oil and gas have driven the state’s economy, making up at least 15% of Texas’ economic output. 

Because of the oil and natural gas industries’ long-time presence in the state, numerous chemical engineers call Texas home.

That education and experience background is perfectly suited for new energy tech, giving new clean energy companies a base of desirable new employees. The overall light regulations associated with buildings in the state are another boon to further development.

Photo Courtesy Baker Hughes

The state has already shifted numerous fossil fuel plants to renewables. In fact, it leads the country in carbon-free electricity generation. Many former fossil fuel facilities are available and ready for retrofitting to cleaner energy sources. Companies like Baker Hughes and HIF Global are building new facilities that will use clean hydrogen, renewable energy, and state-of-the-art technology that captures carbon dioxide. In Corpus Christi, Humble Midstream is building a hydrogen-export facility

The new Texas project “accelerates our plan to capture 25 million tons per year of CO2 and combine it with green hydrogen to produce 150,000 barrels per day of eFuels and decarbonize over 5 million vehicles in use today,” Cesar Norton, HIF chief executive, said in a statement.

Photo Courtesy HIF Global 

Houston is leading the way in clean energy sectors such as environmental engineering, decarbonization, and renewable energy. A recent $150 million in startup funding has primed the Gulf Coast metropolis for further investment. The clean energy incubator Greentown Labs is exploring new projects that install wind turbines more efficiently and turn cow manure into energy.

Many of Houston’s biggest business leaders are supporting a new group called the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, which is dedicated to financially supporting clean energy efforts. The Greater Houston Partnership reported nearly $2 billion in venture capture for the city’s clean energy startups in 2022.

“We can solidify our position if we really lean into our role,” Jane Stricker, Houston Energy Transition Initiative executive director, said in “Time” magazine. “We have the opportunity to create massive economic growth.”

The new growth in renewables is also an important part of Texas reaching its clean energy goals. The state has a target to cut at least 40% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with a net-zero goal by 2040.
“As the leader in the future of eFuels, HIF will be an excellent addition to the Texas economic juggernaut,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “Texas is proud to be the energy capital of the world, and I look forward to a continued partnership with HIF to keep our state the energy leader.”


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