by Maria Elena Alamo and Luuk Nijman
NBSO Texas and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Miami

The Netherlands and Houston are energy hubs on the forefront of the energy transition. The ongoing collaboration between these two regions offers economic opportunities on both sides, which was a clear takeaway from the Digital Trade mission between the Netherlands and Houston, “Energy 2.0,” in November 2020.

Building on this cooperation, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Netherlands Business Support Office in Texas, and the Netherlands Consulate General in Miami on Oct. 5 organized a webinar, “Opportunities in Carbon Capture and Storage.”

Both Houston and the Netherlands have initiated major projects to capture and store CO2 from their port industries, with the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions. As pointed out during the webinar by Consul General Ruth Emmerink, this not only provides an opportunity for knowledge exchange but also for innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic partnerships.

Moving the energy transition forward will require a concerted effort from public and private partners.

Bram Sommer of Porthos underlined that public-private cooperation is at the basis of the effort to store 2.5 million tons of CO2 annually from industrial operations in the Port of Rotterdam area. Lee Stockwell of Shell highlighted the company’s involvement in Porthos and other major carbon capture and storage projects worldwide. Similar plans are being contemplated for the Houston port area, which Ed Graham of ExxonMobil presented during the event.

Governments can play an important role in setting the stage and incentivizing investments in the development of carbon capture and storage. Ushma Kriplani of the US Department of Energy and Joëlle Rekers of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate elaborated on programs on both sides of the Atlantic to stimulate private initiatives.

That this is also an area where entrepreneurship can thrive was clearly put forward by Juliana Garaizar of Greentown Labs, a key player in the Houston CleanTech ecosystem. One of the founders involved in Greentown’s Carbon to Value (C2V) initiative, Moji Karimi of Cemvita Factory, made a compelling case of adding “utilization” to “carbon capture and storage,” offering clear economic and environmental benefits.

The NBSO and the Consulate General in Miami will continue to promote cooperation on the energy transition between the Netherlands and Houston with future events on business opportunities in this field.

Watch the Oct. 5 webinar: