Heliogen Team

Energy Independence: Working towards a more sustainable and self-reliant energy future

by Christie Obiaya

As we approach this July 4th holiday, the symbolism of Independence Day has additional meaning for us at Heliogen. Independence is not just about freedom from tyranny or oppression, but also about self-sufficiency, and the ability to sustain life through local resources. This year, we’re thinking about clean energy independence and how a democratized energy system will support our families, communities, and our nation.

Clean energy independence is the concept of reducing dependence on petroleum, whether produced domestically or imported from abroad, to satisfy the nation’s need for energy. Renewable energy solutions, like wind, solar PV, hydroelectric, and concentrated solar use local resources to generate energy and reduce reliance on foreign or polluting sources.

We are facing severe consequences of a warming planet. Extreme heatwaves, storms, floods, droughts – these are the visible manifestations of climate change. These impacts touch our lives daily and impact where we choose to live, how we work, and our plans for the future. As we celebrate our nation’s birth, let’s remember that freedom also includes the freedom to live in a healthy, safe, and sustainable environment.

As CEO of Heliogen, I see our mission to mitigate climate change as a challenge we have no choice but to win. We’re dedicated to designing and deploying renewable energy solutions that will decarbonize the industrial sectors that account for over 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and are 95% dependent on fossil fuels today. It’s an intricate, multidimensional task, but one we’re committed to, inspired by our love for our communities and our planet.

Our dynamic Heliogen team is the backbone of our efforts. Their diverse experiences and perspectives not only enrich our work culture but also empower us to lead the transition to renewable energy. Together, we are pioneering a revolution in the energy sector, driven by shared ideals of innovation, sustainability, and the promise of a cleaner future.

Our primary focus at Heliogen is on deploying our groundbreaking, AI-enabled, concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology. This revolutionary technology produces low-carbon steam, heat, power, and hydrogen fuel, aimed at helping heavy industries to replace fossil fuels with cost-effective, renewable solar energy. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, concentrated solar thermal technology projects offer the potential to uplift local communities through job creation, access to clean, non-polluting energy, and resilience to global shifts in the energy system. Self-reliance is the cornerstone of independence, and our team remains dedicated to deploying technology that protects our livelihoods and local environments.

The past months have been crucial for us. We’ve been responding to customer demand and accelerating Heliogen’s next stage of commercial development. We recently executed a green hydrogen off-take agreement with the City of Lancaster, California, the “Nations First Hydrogen City.” The City’s vision to become a model and leader for hydrogen, as a lower-cost, clean alternative, makes clear what’s possible when we act decisively with a shared goal in mind.

As we celebrate this Fourth of July, let’s remember that our mission is more than just business—it’s about safeguarding our future. The Heliogen team is ready to embrace this new chapter of growth and resilience, and I am incredibly optimistic about our future as we accelerate the decarbonization of industries and drive a sustainable and affordable transition to clean energy. Our mission is bold and ambitious – and together, with our customers and partners, we will succeed.

Happy Independence Day!

– Christie Obiaya

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About Christie Obiaya

Christie brings deep operational and financial expertise, coupled with experience growing and managing energy and infrastructure development and sustainable technologies. Prior to joining Heliogen, Christie served as head of strategy and chief financial officer for Bechtel Energy’s global energy business unit. She holds engineering and business degrees from MIT.

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