Global energy capital Houston backs gas and renewable energies

Sep 20, 2018
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Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, on what people can expect in 2019 and his visit to Barcelona
Next year the venue for Gastech will be the energy capital of the world, Houston, Texas.
The city is traditionally associated with the gas industry, but in recent years it has seen an upsurge in activity within the renewables sector.
Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, has been a special guest this week as he took time out from his busy domestic schedule to see how Barcelona welcomed Gastech. 
He said of the industry: “It’s an exciting time especially with the demand for LNG and gas from across the globe. In the U.S. we used to be an importer, now we are an exporter. That’s exciting, especially with the shale revolution which is taking place. Houston is the energy capital of the world and there is a lot of development which is taking place along the coast. There’s a demand for supply, for infrastructure, for diversity in supply, diversity in infrastructure, all of these things we can talk about in Houston and I don’t think there is a better place to have the event. 
“I will say that the people here in Barcelona have done an outstanding job in setting up this conference and I take my hat off to them.”
Mayor Turner emphasised the business opportunities Gastech offers.
“With the shale revolution as a new supply the U.S. is looking for additional markets,” he said. “If you look at what is happening in Europe and in Asia with the cost of LNG, there is a need for supplies, which will be discussed here quite a bit. Demand, pricing, all of those things are important.  I think the future is bright and we are certainly ecstatic about that.
Mayor Turner said he felt innovation across the industry was a key way for it to move forward, and his city was at the forefront of technology and business breakthroughs.
“In Houston we have more architects and engineers than any other city in the United States,” he said. “In Houston there are 40 of the 134 publically traded oil and gas companies, 700 of the exploration firms are in Houston and 800 of the service companies. 
“In terms of the architects and engineers, the expertise, the infrastructure, the development technology and innovation, there’s a critical mass of intellectual capital right there.
“Gastech is a great fit. You’ve got 30,000 people attending this conference and they are coming from all over the globe-there’s a lot we can learn in Houston but at the same time there is a lot that we can share.”
Mayor Turner emphasisesd his and Houston’s commitment to renewables.
He explained: “Just last week I was in San Francisco at the Global Climate Action Summit, that has been put together by Governor Jerry Brown, Michael Bloomberg and some others -  the focus being on clean power, so LNG and natural gas fits within that equation. 
“To be the energy capital of the world and now to have an abundant supply of gas works hand in hand. 
“The city of Houston, the municipality, is the number one user of green energy in the United States, 80 per cent is wind and 10 per cent is solar. The LNG discussion is a good fit when you talk about the energy capital and what we are trying to achieve and it serves almost as a backdrop. From that vantage point I think it bodes well for the future and the direction we are going.
“I think there will be an increasing demand for it and I think that’s why it is important to have the diversity mix.”
Mayor Turner had earlier opened the USA Partnership Pavilion and stated that was a greater involvement of U.S. companies and representatives than had previously attended Gastech.
“In addition to the information being received there is so much that you can learn in terms of the innovations,” he said. 
While at the event in Barcelona, Mayor Turner invited Spain’s Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera to attend the 2019 event because of her role which combines energy and sustainability.
He said: “Incredible things taking place in the world of Gas in Spain.
“The people here at Gastech have set a very high bar, the attendance is great. This is just a beautiful place to be and I wanted to come to see it and have a first-hand look. They have done an incredible job and from my vantage point of view I’d say, job well done.”