CEO: Houston needs to lead on solar power, along with oil and gas

Houston: the landscape is constantly changing
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Local business and civic leaders frequently point to the oil and gas industry as the sector that drives so much of Houston’s economy.

But one business executive said it’s time for Houston to focus on expanding another key part of the energy industry, namely alternative energy like solar power.

Houston should be the energy capital, not just the oil and gas capital, said John Berger, founder and chief executive officer of Houston-based Sunnova Energy Corp., a company he founded six years ago and provides residential solar and battery storage to 60,000 customers in the U.S and its territories, including Guam, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Houston’s leaders should embrace the fast-moving development of solar-powered electricity, saidBerger, who appeared on a recent panel on the future of electricity at the University of Houston.

Solar-related technology is changing rapidly, especially as battery storage improves and smart technology does a better job controlling the flow of power on and off the grid. Solar energy is also less expensive than other fuel sources.

The growth is exponential, said Berger, likely leading to other changes like the role of monopoly utility companies in a world where individuals are creating and controlling their own power supply. It’s a fundamental shift in the United States and around the world.

But there hasn’t been much local support for solar power. Houston, he said, should be leading the charge.

This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.

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