Solar energy has a long and varied history. Passive solar energy techniques have been used throughout the ancient world â€“ from the â€śburning mirrorsâ€ť of the Greeks and Chinese to solar heating used by the Romans and the Anasazi (USDOE, 2002). Solar energy and its implications are not new concepts however the modern world treats solar technology as unchartered territory where only grass-roots environmentalists venture.
Over the past decade Houston has taken significant strides to implement and promote sustainability â€“ giving itself a rather needed makeover from an oil titan to an environmentally and economically conscious consumer. Dozens of programs have been initiated throughout the city to encourage sustainable practices and educate citizens. Programs such as the Energy Efficiency Incentive Program, Houston Green Office Challenge, and the Better Buildings Challenge. Houston is ranked fifth in the nation for the number of LEED certified buildings and seventh in the nation for the number of ENERGY STAR rated buildings (USDOE, 2012). Currently the City of Houstonâ€™s Green Building Resource Center stands testament to the determination of city officials to make Houston truly green. There is still a long road ahead in opening and expanding the solar market as a sustainable practice in Houston.
Are you interested in joining the City of Houston's Green Challenge?