News from RICE University

Energy leaders to discuss Houston’s advantages, future in transition to sustainability

HOUSTON – (April 18, 2022) – How Houston can leverage its competitive advantages to lead the transition to a lower-carbon future will be the focus of an April 22 event at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy hosted by the institute’s Center for Energy Studies and the Renewable Energy Alliance Houston (REAL Houston).

Corporate, national and local leaders across supply chains for various forms of energy will participate in a series of panel discussions on the innovation, policy and commercial considerations of the energy transition and Houston’s role in determining how quickly it happens.

As the “energy capital of the world,” Houston’s capabilities reach far beyond oil and gas. The panels will highlight the region’s entrepreneurial spirit and expertise in engineering and supply-chain logistics as well as its business-friendly environment with access to legacy ports.

Houston civic and business leaders hope to transition to a carbon-neutral future in a way that leverages all of their city’s advantages. The transition will require forging and nurturing relationships between corporations, innovators, capital providers and the workforce to meet the challenge.

What: Baker Institute and REAL Houston event, “Leveraging Houston's Financial and Human Capital for Sustainable Energy Transitions.”

When: Friday, April 22, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. CDT.

Where: James A. Baker III Hall, Rice University

 6100 Main St., Houston, Texas 77005

 Doré Commons and Kelly International Conference Facility

This on-campus event is free, but registration is required. 


Panel 1: The Role of Renewables in Energy Transitions: Growth, Stability, Resilience and Sustainability in Energy Systems

  • Josh Bryant, director at Consolidated Asset Management Services; Kishore Sundararajan, senior vice president at Oceaneering; Kirsty McCormack, vice president of special projects at BP; and Mike Weich, vice president of mergers and acquisitions and business development at Omega Energia. Ken Medlock, director of the Baker Institute’s Center for Energy Studies, will moderate.

Panel 2: Challenges and Opportunities in Meeting Greater Electrification: Transmission, Storage, Workforce and Policy Needed to Support and Utility Scale Solutions

  • Michael Skelly, founder and CEO of Grid United; Cary Kottler, senior vice president of North American development at Pattern Energy Group; and Kris Cheney, executive vice president of Central, West, Mexico, Environmental and Energy Storage at EDP Renewables. Abigail Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, will moderate.

Panel 3: Hydrogen, carbon capture and industrial scale decarbonization

  • Zach Scott, head of the North American environmental team at Mercuria; Jane Stricker, executive director and senior vice president at the Greater Houston Partnership; and Pradeep Venkataraman, senior manager at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. David Daley, regional practice manager at Burns and McDonnell, will moderate.

Panel 4: Armchair Discussion: The Role of Policy, Technology and Innovation.

John Berger, CEO of Sunnova, will deliver opening remarks. Kay McCall, executive director of the Renewable Energy Alliance Houston, will close the event.

RSVP: Credentialed media should RSVP to Avery Franklin, media relations specialist at Rice, at [email protected] or 713-348-6327.