Skip to main content

Learning From Denmark: An Energy Transition Journey

Published Oct 31, 2023 by Melissa Raju

US-Denmark Green Hydrogen Alliance members from (L to R) Nicholas Connell, Janice Lin, Sara Malik, and Frank Wolak

Green Hydrogen Alliance members from (L to R) Nicholas Connell, Janice Lin, Sara Malik, and Frank Wolak

The Trade Council of Denmark in North America - Energy and Environment recently hosted a few US-Denmark Green Hydrogen Alliance members from the US and Canada to explore the Danish energy sector firsthand.  

The trip was more than just a fact-finding journey, it transformed into a comprehensive crash course on the intricacies of the energy transition and how Denmark, a global forerunner in energy is actively establishing partnerships with key countries for emission reductions.  

“It was a humbling experience meeting like-minded colleagues from US and Canada with a common mission to collaborate on accelerating our energy transition goals,” said Sara Muhammad Malik, Sr. Director, Global Energy Transition, Greater Houston Partnership.  

The primary purpose of this visit was to gain insight on Denmark’s pioneering energy transition initiatives and exploring various projects led by Danish companies like Maersk, Rambøll, Topsoe, Ørsted, Energinet, European Energy, GreenLab, Green Hydrogen Systems and Stiesdal. 

A few highlights from the delegation included:  

  • Visiting A.P. Moller - Maersk’s headquarters and learning about their mission to decarbonize the shipping industry and e-fuels. 

  • Meeting Green Hydrogen Alliance members Topsoe and Ramboll, discussing the future of energy, the role of Power-to-X in the energy transition and public and private knowledge sharing in the energy industry.  

  • Experiencing Danish technology up close during a site visit to Alliance member Ørsted’s H2RES project - exploring how to pair offshore wind with hydrogen production.

  • Visiting Amager Bakke (partnership between Ramboll and Copenhagen-based utility) to produce electricity and district heating for homes and companies in the Danish capital from waste. 

Overall, the journey to Denmark provided a unique perspective on the energy transition. By exchanging knowledge and engaging in discussions on the present and future of energy across the Atlantic, we can make a joint solid foundation for creating the best conditions for collaboration and developing a sustainable energy sector.  

As Houston looks to lead the global energy transition, the lessons learned from Denmark will undoubtedly inspire the region's path to build a more sustainable energy landscape.   

Learn more about the Energy Capital of the World.  

 

Related News

Energy

Japanese Multinational Company Announces Investment in Houston Startup

3/1/24
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced a substantial investment in Houston-based Fervo Energy, helping the geothermal development company reach $244 million in funding to advance its carbon-free technologies.  The funding, backed by a consortium of investors including Mitsubishi, Galvanize Climate Solutions, John Arnold, Liberty Mutual Investments, Marunouchi Innovation Partners and Mercuria, will support Fervo’s ongoing Cape Station project in Utah, a 400-megawatt operation that aims to deliver clean electricity to the grid by 2026.  “Demand for around-the-clock clean energy has never been higher, and next-generation geothermal is uniquely positioned to meet this demand,” said Tim Latimer, Fervo CEO and Co-Founder, in a news release. “Our technology is fully derisked, our pricing is already competitive, and our resource pipeline is vast. This investment enables Fervo to continue to position geothermal at the heart of 24/7 carbon-free energy production.”  The groundbreaking project, located in Beaver County, Utah, began drilling in June 2023. It has since seen remarkable success, surpassing the Department of Energy’s (DOE) expectations for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) with a 70 percent reduction in drilling times and lower production costs, according to Fervo.   With an abundance of innovative companies like Fervo, Houston has garnered significant acclaim for its energy transition ecosystem, attracting investors from around the world to the region. According to a Partnership analysis, Houston-based energy transition startups, businesses, and companies secured $6.1 billion in financing from private market investments in 2022, a 62 percent increase compared to 2021.  This announcement marks Mitsubishi’s second major investment in Houston companies engaged in emission-reducing technologies. Last year, the company signed an investment agreement with deep-decarbonization company Syzygy Plasmonics to scale and commercialize its technology that works to transform various industries by reducing costs and emissions.  Mitsubishi’s continuous investment in the region not only solidifies the company’s dedication to advancing sustainable solutions to achieve the world’s net zero climate goals, but also positions Houston at the forefront of propelling the global energy transition forward.  "This announcement is a testament to the dynamic spirit of partnership and opportunity thriving within Houston's energy ecosystem,” said Jane Stricker, the Partnership’s senior vice president of energy transition and executive director of Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI). “The investment in Fervo Energy from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is another example of the growing number of strategic investments by energy and industrial companies into innovative startups with promising technologies, which is why the Houston region continues to lead commercial deployment of solutions for the transition.”  Learn more about Houston’s Energy Transition Initiative. 
Read More
Energy

Lummus Technology Partnerships Designed to Build Sustainable Solutions that Advance the Circular Economy

2/5/24
Following the recent announcement of Lummus' new partnership with Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp. to pioneer advanced carbon capture solutions, the Partnership had a chance to sit down with Lummus' Ajay Gami, Chief Corporate Development Officer, and Matthew Braud, Head of Global Marketing and Communications. They discussed the company's recent partnerships and how they are developing technology solutions to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future amid the growing complexity and interconnectedness of energy systems, thus supporting the regional growth and development of the greater Houston region's energy industry. "Lummus is proud to partner with true innovators to develop and scale sustainable solutions." According to Gami, partnerships are a fundamental tenet for Lummus, acting as the cornerstone of their business growth model. Realizing the need for different technologies to combat the challenges the world is facing with regards to climate, emissions and an overall shift to more sustainable life cycle management of everyday products, Lummus continues to partner with numerous companies to accelerate the development of their technologies for a more sustainable future. "Lummus Technology started very small with only a handful of technologies, and we grew by entering into these partnerships and effectively leveraging them. Now, it really has become part of our business and part of our business model. With partnerships, there are a ton of benefits - we can achieve faster time to market, leverage economies of scale, enhance innovation and develop technologies that tackle some of the industry's biggest challenges." Lummus engages with global players such as Saudi Aramco and Chevron, but the company also dedicates its efforts to serving as a launchpad for emerging startups, facilitating the scaling and deployment of their offerings. Recently, the company announced its partnership with Resynergi, a California-based startup that is revolutionizing plastic recycling through the use of microwave technology, building on its initial foray into the field with New Hope in 2020. Recognizing the transformative potential of these innovations, Gami emphasized Lummus' commitment to fostering partnerships, nothing that while Resynergi and New Hope operate in similar spaces, their technologies cater to different categories, enabling Lummus to address plastic recycling on both industrial and niche scales, while also supporting other companies utilizing ethanol to create plastic. In addition to recycling plastic, Lummus is also prioritizing the reduction of waste generation as part of its efforts to enable the energy industry in the environmentally sound management of hazardous waste. In 2023, Lummus acquired assets from Siemens Energy's water solutions portfolio that can be used to treat wastewater generated by various industries that would otherwise have significant impact on our water resources if discharged to the environment. In addition to waste treatment, the technology can be used to recycle the wastewater back through the process, thus reducing the fresh water demand of the facility. "What we're trying to look at is how we can advance technologies that support the sustainability and net zero goals from the UN, our industry, our customers and society. For that, you need certain niche technologies, and a quicker, faster model to get those technologies developed is through partnerships." Looking ahead, Lummus is now spearheading initiatives in the bio space, which is reflected in its new partnership with RWDC, a biotechnology company developing biopolymer material solutions. The partnership will help both companies rapidly expand manufacturing and global licensing of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), which are not only naturally sourced, but also biodegradable, thereby reducing fossil fuels use and environmental damage caused by the improper disposal of plastic waste or landfilling. Additionally, the company has teamed up with NET Power to provide heat transfer equipment for its near-zero emissions power generation process. In cultivating these strategic partnerships, Lummus has benefitted greatly from its membership with the Greater Houston Partnership. For Gami, the exposure that Lummus receives and the opportunity to talk with people at all different levels has been valuable, especially following its establishment as a standalone company in 2020. According to Braud, their need to get a new brand, identity and leadership team out in the community and among Houston's business leaders was a key factor in their decision to join the Partnership. Being part of Houston's business community has opened up additional opportunities and created more potential for fostering their next partnership, Gami added. "Houston, like Lummus, has the opportunity to lead the energy transition. Houston has the experience, the talent and the advantages to remain the Energy Capital of the World but also to really lead the energy transition. Houston has the experience in building and executing these big energy projects and infrastructure projects that have been groundbreaking in the past and will continue to be in the future." To learn more about Houston's energy industry or to get involved with the Energy Transition Committee, contact Sara Muhammad Malik at smalik@houston.org
Read More

Related Events

Economic Development

Upskill Works

The Greater Houston Partnership invites you to a symposium of local Hydrogen workforce and upskilling opportunities and funding, featuring conversations with key industry and education players.

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners