The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) announced a list of hometown speakers to present their views on Texas’ fast-growing Renewable Energy market at their annual Photovoltaic Experience Conference and Exhibition (UPEx ’02) in Austin, Texas from November 12-15, 2002.Washington, D.C. – November 4, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The list of Texas speakers at UPEx’02 includes R.B. “Ralph” Marquez, Commissioner for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Dub Taylor, Director of the Texas State Energy Conservation Office, Roger Duncan, Vice President of Austin Energy, Linda Stone, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Partnership for Energy (MPE), Mike Sloan, President of Virtus Energy Research Associates, Judith Carrico-Kuhn and Michael Kuhn, Co-founders of Imagine Solar Int’l and Mark Kapner, Austin Energy. Their talks, which range from welcome openings to “Got Renewables?”, will largely focus on the growing role of Renewable Energy to address the large Texas energy requirements, the sixth largest in the world. “The solar market is heating up!” according to Mike Sloan who cites a deficit in solar incentives to explain why less than 2 percent of Texas’ Renewable Energy generation is accomplished with solar systems. Currently, wind systems make up 98 percent. “Texas, with its tremendous natural resources for Renewable Energy and large consumption rate will soon be a major player in the solar industry.” But some say the revolution has already begun. “Between January and September 2002, 300 new solar systems were installed in Bexar County,” says MPE’s Linda Stone who will speak at UPEx’02 on the community approach to deploying solar. In San Antonio, MPE is building a similar program to the successful Austin Green Building Program which is nationally known for their expertise in “green” residential and commercial construction. MPE’s burgeoning program promotes Renewable Energy development and affordability. Also fueling the revolution is Austin Energy’s Green Choice Program, which gives their customers the choice to buy power exclusively from clean energy generators. “Green energy electricity costs are now competitive with natural gas,” said Mark Kapner who will speak about the successes and challenges of this nationally recognized, award-winning program which is “totally transferable to other communities.” Last month, Green Choice received the Pilot Award for national leadership in green energy marketing from the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. In wind, solar and other renewable technologies, the Lonestar State has momentum to fuel its drive towards cleaner energy generation. Whatever the topic, Renewable Energy leaders in Texas are professing growth in “green” industries and the ever-increasing potential for Texans to play a major role in clean energy generation.