Solar Houston Initiative
The Solar Houston Initiative is focused on identifying and over-coming barriers associated with establishing a solar infrastructure that is incorporated into the overall energy system of the City of Houston.
Cities across the country are realizing the benefits of solar energy:
- Power from secure, domestic energy
- Sustainable, "green" urban development
- Clean energy production that helps meet greenhouse gas reduction targets and climate change goals
- Development of new economic opportunities.
The Solar Houston Initiative will leverage the expertise of diverse and experienced project partners to achieve a sustainable solar infrastructure in the city. Project partners will develop a plan to make solar energy cost-competitive by 2015 through the following: Develop and implement significant market-changing activities including:
- The advancement of current and new technologies
- Public outreach
- Education programs.
- Develop and implement significant market-changing activities including:
- Houston-specific solar energy advancement policies
- Regulations and legislation that promote cost-effective solar energy utilization
- Identify high visibility locations for demonstration sites and install solar energy systems
- Implement solar programs in focused neighborhoods such as affordable housing areas
- Work with schools to integrate solar education into the curriculum
Program Management and Partners
The City of Houston selected Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) to manage the Solar Houston Initiative. HARC established an advisory council as well as a correspondence group. The 14-member advisory council, which consists of representatives from local businesses, universities, school districts, environmental organizations, and foundations, meets quarterly to review plans and discuss progress. The correspondence group consists of stakeholders interested in promoting solar energy technologies thorugh the city. Members of the group receive project updates that they can us to inform their networks. In addition, correspondence group members can make suggestions to the advisory council about the direction and progress of the project through HARC.
Houston Partners include:
- BP America
- City of Houston (Project Lead)
- Clinton Climate Initiative
- Discovery Green Conservancy
- Greater Houston Builders Association
- Houston Advanced Research Center
- Houston Community College Association
- Houston Endowment
- Houston Habitat for Humanity
- Houston Independent School District
- Texas State Energy Conservation Office
- U.S. Green Building Council
- University of Houston