The Houston (and Texas) Energy Challenge

The global energy system is undergoing an era of major disruptive change at the same time as demand increases continue and climate change issues related to energy production are front page news. Houston has long been considered the “energy capital of the world,” but questions are emerging about the pace of change in the energy industry and how will the Houston energy ecosystem adapt to these disruptions.

What role will Houston play in the development and shaping of technologies that are beginning to revolutionize sources of our energy production?  Are there opportunities for collective action among companies, government and private citizens that can help shape the Houston region’s energy future?

Global energy demands of another three billion people seeking access to cheap sources of energy, plus increasing standards of living worldwide are driving an unprecedented need for new energy supplies. This comes at a time of major economic and technological drivers, including meeting the challenge of fossil fuels’ impact on the environment. This makes the energy future anything but certain, except that we will need to continue to change and innovate if we wish to be relevant.

Technology innovation is constantly having a profound impact on our energy future. The revolution in production of natural gas through fracking and horizontal drilling, once considered “unconventional,” has already transformed the ways in which we produce hydrocarbons and has completely upended the energy marketplace, transforming the U.S. into an exporter of oil and LNG and driving commodity prices down to levels that would have seemed inconceivable less than ten years ago.   On this same 10 year time-scale, we have seen the emergence of electric vehicles, rapidly declining costs of renewable energy, and the promise of affordable energy storage.  We are at the precipice of creating the next revolution in energy supply.

The implications of all these changes for the Houston economy, the region and its citizens are profound. 

Ongoing Energy Work

CHF is convening three working groups to explore opportunities in O&G, Electrification and Petrochemicals.  Our goal is to bring consensus-based public-private partnership solutions and develop roadmaps which will move the Houston region forward in addressing the future of energy and its impact on the Houston region and Texas.

  • Energy Value Chain segment: Focus Areas

  • Innovation in Oil & Gas: Digitization, AI, Machine Learning Automation

  • Electrification: Climate, Energy access, Low-cost renewables, grid integration

  • Petrochemicals: Circular economy, Specialty chemicals

Team and Steering Committee Members


Alex Rozenfeld, Chair of CHF Energy Initiative & Founding Partner and Managing Director, Climate Impact Capital. Alex founded Climate Impact Capital to help fill the market gap for early stage companies and investors seeking to make an impact on climate change. With 20 years of energy and innovation experience, Alex has worked extensively internationally as an entrepreneur, angel investor, and venture capitalist for Fortune 500 companies. He has been investing in energy technologies since 2001, including hydrogen, fuel cells, and energy storage. Notable roles have included involvement in the earliest H2 vehicle station in California and most recently the founding member and President at Shell Technology Ventures, LLC. Alex holds a BSE in mechanical engineering magna cum laude and Woodrow Wilson policy degree from Princeton University and MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.