Why Texas Should Lead The Energy Transition

Texas could be a leader in the energy transition to a low-carbon energy system, according to the director of the new University of Houston Energy Transition Institute.

“Oil and natural gas have an important role, supplying energy today and clean energy tomorrow,” Joe Powell, an oil industry veteran, told the Midland Reporter-Telegram in an interview. “The oil and gas supplied today will help decarbonize power applications.”

According to Powell, know-how is one reason why Texas would be an ideal leader of the energy transition. It knows to develop complex energy infrastructure and it can share this know-how with other states.

Texas also has experience with, for instance, sequestering and recycling carbon dioxide in applications such as enhanced oil recovery, the official said. This could help Texas market its oil and gas as responsibly sourced, Powell added.

“It’s incredibly important to tighten on emissions, eliminate some pneumatic controllers and supply certified responsibly sourced energy,” he explained. “I encourage the Texas industry to get on top of that and show the world we can provide responsibly sourced energy. There’s no reason Texas can’t be the leader in providing that energy.”

Hydrogen is another area with significant growth potential in Texas, according to Powell, who sees the state becoming a major clean hydrogen hub in the future as well as an ammonia production center.

Texas produces over 5 million barrels of oil daily as well as over 35 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The state also has the biggest wind power capacity, with output from this capacity accounting for almost a quarter of the state’s energy mix.

“The first directive for the energy economy is to decarbonize the grid first. Power first then make fuels. That’s different from where we’ve made fuel first then electricity,” Powell told the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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