Providing affordable, lasting energy for future generations is imperative, Lucy Stolzenburg said.

“Electricity is important to break the cycle of poverty,” said Stolzenburg, executive director of the Texas Solar Energy Society. “If kids don’t have lights, they can’t study.”

Stolzenburg was among about 40 solar energy advocates from across the state who listened to speakers Saturday during the society’s annual meeting at the Texas A&M University-Central Texas campus in Killeen. The nonprofit provides educational outreach on solar and renewable energy sources.

Saturday’s discussion focused on how the green energy corridor is expanding statewide.

Electricity prices in Texas rose about 9 percent last year, said Scot Arey, chairman of the Texas Solar Energy Society’s board.

Solar energy is going to be “absolutely essential” for Texas in the next decade as power plants struggle to keep up with the electricity demands of growing populations, Arey said.

He said the environmental benefits of solar and renewable energy attracts more consumers.

“You’d be surprised at how many folks recognize that environmental issues are important,” Arey said. “When the choice is made to shut down a coal plant because it is a dirty emitting power source, the ability to replace that with solar is a big deal.”

Larry Howe, a volunteer with Plano Solar Advocates, said his mission is to get the word “solar” into people’s vocabulary.

“There’s a lot of people who want to go solar, but they don’t know what to do or how to get started,” Howe said.

He said the best way to introduce communities to solar energy is to do it in groups, so consumers don’t get overwhelmed and confused by the different ways to install a solar energy source.

“Tell them the basics of Solar 101,” he said. “If you help simplify the process, you’re educating the customer.” | 254-501-7549 | @SarahRafique

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

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