On November 15-17, 2023, the Texas Energy Summit, hosted by the Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL), was held at the State of Texas Capitol Building. At this year’s event, five experts from the Texas A&M Energy Institute participated in panels.
The summit, now in its 20th year, continues to focus on the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, and in particular air quality and public health improvements from energy efficiency, renewable energy, electrification, and other clean energy technologies and strategies. The Texas Energy Summit has long emphasized the importance of energy management, with special attention on the public sector. The summit provides attendees the opportunity to network and engage with industry experts, state and local policymakers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, facility and energy managers, utility and energy service experts, and more in conversation about cleaner air, a better-built environment, and the Texas economy.
Professors Mark Barteau and Faruque Hasan participated in the panel discussion on the Electrification of Hard-to-Decarbonize Sectors. Along with Professor Michael Baldea from the University of Texas at Austin, they focused on both the technology and process modeling challenges being addressed by a $70M Department of Energy-funded Manufacturing USA Institute (public-private partnership) called EPIXC (Electrified Processes for Industry without Carbon). Both TAMU and UT are core partners in this institute led by Arizona State University. The two Texas partners will focus primarily on electrification of chemical and petroleum refining processes that are significant contributors to the state’s economy.
Professor Le Xie participated in the panel discussion on Virtual Power Plants: Harnessing the Power of Small Sources. He and his team also provided a policy briefing to Interim Chair Kathleen Jackson of the Public Utility Commission of Texas on demand response and energy efficiency. This is a joint study with ERCOT to evaluate the potential of energy efficiency and demand response in the state’s future energy plan.
Dr. Konstantinos Pappas participated in a panel discussion moderated by Laramie Stroud, the Chief of Staff for Texas State Representative Drew Darby, about identifying ways to expand the benefits of the Energy Transition in the Permian Basin. Along with Professor Brian Korgel from the University of Texas at Austin and the Operations & Sustainability Education Program Officer at The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Mrs. Marita Mirzatuny, they focused on a National Science Foundation Regional Innovation Engines Development Award that Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin are cooperating under, and the challenges of sharing the benefits of the energy economy with local communities through place-based economic development approaches and fit-for-purpose educational programs. Dr. Pappas spoke mainly about the stakeholder engagement approach that The Permian Basin Energy Technology and Resilience Alliance (PETRA) will implement to ensure that the communities of the Permian Basin participate in and equitably accrue the economic and environmental benefits of the global transition to a low-carbon energy system.
Dr. Sean Niknezhad spoke about hydrogen challenges and opportunities and met with HARC CEO and the University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute to respond to the state’s future energy/hydrogen developments.