Come On Houston! Take the Solar Houston Initiative!
The U.S. Department of Energy has named Houston as one of the 25 U.S. Solar America Cities working to accelerate the adoption of solar energy technologies for a cleaner, more secure energy future. 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.
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.
The Houston Solar 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:
The advancement of current and new technologies
Develop and implement significant market-changing activities including:
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