It’s no secret that oil and gas has long been the lifeblood of Texas. The energy industry has been good to Texas since the black stuff gushed from Spindletop in 1901 and catapulted the United States into the oil age.
Blessed with an abundance of hydrocarbons, technical know-how and a pioneering spirit, Texas has sparked innovations that have spread across the globe ever since and over the last century the lone star state has bankrolled many of the institutions and products that enrich our public life today.
In an era where carbon emissions don’t matter, Texas is king of the energy world.
So, you may ask, why would a search firm specialising in clean technology and a platform showcasing electric vehicles and renewable energy choose Texas as the prime location to spin out their US operations in 2020?
Though the state’s role as an international leader in oil and gas is well known, many overlook the Texas’ broader leadership in the power sector and this is what we’re super excited to tap into. As the world shifts to less carbon intensive forms of energy, Texas can again lead the way.
Texas is by far the number one US state for wind power with 25 gigawatts already installed. To drive home the sheer size of this capacity, if Texas were a country it would be the fifth-largest wind power producer in the world, just after India and ahead of Spain and the United Kingdom!
The path of solar power in Texas will likely follow that of wind. The economics look sufficiently favorable – a point that has just arrived – and the solar sector will grow rapidly and transform power markets in the coming years.
And when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, even there Texas is stepping up. Professor John B Goodenough of The University of Texas at Austin has recently been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work that made possible the development of lithium-ion batteries
Large-scale energy storage from Goodenough’s inventions and other technologies will enable even greater integration of renewable energy into the grid and there are also a growing number of options to combat existing emissions – Texas based Occidental Petroleum recently announced a major partnership with a high-profile company, backed by luminaries such as Bill Gates, to capture CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Texas is still an oil-loving, frack-happy place which has a long way to go towards a low carbon future – to use the country metric again, it would be the 7th largest CO2 emitter in the world as an independent nation – but when Texas moves forward, they do it quickly and at a global scale, leapfrogging other states and even countries!
Having lived in Houston for three years, I’m excited to be heading back out to Texas in 2020 and we have landed on Austin as the perfect place for Hyperion to open our first US office.
As politically conservative as Texas tends to be, it’s kept an open mind on renewable energy, which is one reason more wind power has been installed in the state than anywhere else. And within Texas, Austin has always been an outlier: a fairly liberal college town that has managed to marry high tech with a nonconformist culture. Now that’s paying off in the renewable-energy sector, as Austin contends with Silicon Valley as a top clean-tech hub.
Over the past eight years, the number of clean-tech jobs has grown more than twice as fast in the Austin metro area as it has in San Francisco and with its background in information technology, Austin is set to take the lead in one of the most exciting areas in clean tech – the marriage of new energy technology with the Internet.
Austin’s commitment to clean energy has also recently put it in the top 10 in the national City Clean Energy Scorecard that monitors US city policies and programs that save energy, promote renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as focusing on efforts to embed equity in policymaking.
Ahead of opening our doors in April 2020, we’ll be partnering with Fully Charged to sponsor their first US show in February in Austin, TX and we’d love y’all to drop by.
Texas has all the ingredients – an abundance of resources and expertise, a century of experience, and an innovative, risk-taking personality – to lead the world as it moves toward a cleaner energy future. We cannot wait to be part of the journey.
About the author
Jon Rose is Head of North America at Hyperion Search and will be building their first US-based team out of Austin, Texas in April 2020.
Jon has a proven track record partnering with a diverse portfolio of energy & technology clients across the world, ranging from pre-investment start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, to find the best talent in the industry. He has lived in both Houston and New York over the last 7 years and has managed senior-level searches in fifteen US states across a broad spectrum of disciplines with wind, solar, geothermal and energy storage clients.
Jon is an avid follower of US sport, a proud owner of a Stetson, a keen long distance runner and a craft beer enthusiast (currently brewing his own beer with very mixed success!)
Fully Charged LIVE North America will be held at the Circuit of the Americas on 1st & 2nd Feb 2020
Make sure you don’t miss out – book your tickets here