Cleantech incubator part of Houston’s goal to be ”energy transition capital“

At-a-Glance:

Cleantech startup incubator Greentown Labs officially opened its Houston facility in April, marking Earth Day and the one-year anniversary of the city unveiling its first Climate Action Plan. The 40,000-square-foot space has room for 50 startups with more than 300 employees working in clean technology. To learn more, read “Cleantech incubator part of Houston’s goal to be ‘energy transition capital’.”

Key Takeaways:

  • City officials said at a press conference that 30 early-stage companies are ready to move in.
  • Greentown, which is headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, already has a slew of partners for the incubator, including various energy and oil companies with significant operations in the Houston area.
  • Greentown CEO Emily Reichert said she hopes the new location can be an “on-the-ground catalyst for accelerating the energy transition” by encouraging new jobs, economic opportunity and Texas’ growing innovation ecosystem.
  • Houston’s ambitious Climate Action Plan calls for the city to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Path to 100% Perspective:

According to the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston is the energy capital of the world with more than 4,600 energy-related firms in this Lone Star State metropolitan hub. Texas stands out both as a primary generator and significant user of U.S. energy. Approximately 10% of US electricity demand comes from Texas. Texas is the national leader in the US wind energy industry with 30 GW of installed wind. It ranks first in the country for installed and under construction wind capacity, supporting 25,000 wind-related jobs. Modelling indicates the potential for the state to spearhead the country’s renewable energy transition can be seen as follows:

  • 10 GW of new renewable energy generation capacity, including solar and wind by 2025
  • 54,000 new clean energy jobs, 175% more than if the same stimulus was used to revive the legacy energy sector12
  • 15% reduction in power sector CO2 emissions

 

Photo by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash

2020 Set A New Record For Renewable Energy. What’s The Catch?

At-a-Glance:

All over the world, the growth of green energy is accelerating. More than 80% of all new electricity generating projects built last year were renewable, leading to a 10.3% rise in total installed zero carbon electricity generation globally, a new report shows. Yet in spite of reduced energy demand in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, fossil fuel electricity generation also continued to grow. So, therefore, did carbon emissions. To learn more, read “2020 Set A New Record For Renewable Energy. What’s The Catch?” Reading this article may require a subscription from the news outlet.

Key Takeaways:

  • The report, from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), revealed that 91% of new renewables last year were wind and solar projects, with solar generation having grown the fastest, up by 127 gigawatts—a 22% increase from 2019.
  • But the IRENA report also found that, in spite of lower energy demand and the larger share of renewables in 2020, fossil fuel capacity also increased, though not by quite as much as seen during the previous year, rising 60 gigawatts as compared with 64 gigawatts in 2019.
  • A plan to retire and replace coal and gas plants is essential to reduce emissions, as well as enable workers from those industries to transition into the renewable energy sector.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Renewable energy is widely acknowledged to create more jobs than fossil fuels. McKinsey Sustainability, for example, reports that for every $10 million USD of government spending on renewable technologies 75 jobs are typically created, compared to 27 jobs in the fossil fuels sector. Additionally, renewable energy generates more labor-intensive jobs in the short run, when jobs are scarce, which boosts spending and increases short-run GDP. In the long run, renewable energy requires less labor for operation and maintenance, which frees up labor as the economy returns to capacity.

Photo by Peter Beukema on Unsplash