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SOLAR HEROES: Profiling the unsung solar champions
BILL SINKIN | san an Tonio, Texas
Bahram mark soBhani/san anTonio exPress-news/Zuma Press
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l sinkin will be 96 in may, and he’s been a
progressive force in his native san Antonio
or most of the past century. during the
depression, he sold khaki pants for $9 a dozen
and helped found the local symphony orchestra
(he played second violin). With his father, he operated a department store on the heavily black east
side of town and saw that his employees couldn’t
get mortgages or car loans. so, in 1960, he organized
the texas state Bank specifically to serve this community. in 1984, he put solar water-heating panels
on the bank’s drive-through lanes and talked the
local utility company into subsidizing solar. He
founded solar san Antonio in 1999 and then
launched the metropolitan partnership for energy
in 2003. He started san Antonio’s solar tour, got the
city designated as a solar America City and is now
working to establish a renewable energy center for
“my goal is to make san Antonio the number
one city in texas for solar energy,” sinkin says, admitting that he’s in a race with Austin. “i find it disgraceful when an American president goes hat-in-hand
to saudi Arabia to beg for oil.”
For Bill sinkin’s story, as told to SOLAR TODAY’s
seth masia, see solartoday.org/heroes.
RE PIONEERS where They are now Karl Böer | avondale, Pa.
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“most people are now recognizing that we all have
to do much more soon to prevent the deteriorating
global climate that could easily get more out of balance.
With careful steering from our political leaders, all of this
can be funneled into national action.
— Karl Böer
For many people, things slow down as shelves soon), helping with photovoltaic
they get older. Work starts to fall a lot lower research and development and pushing
on the priority list. They spend more time political leaders worldwide to adopt renew-reading, golfing, relaxing on the beach. able energy-friendly initiatives.
Karl Böer isn’t one of those people. At 83, He recently spoke with SOLAR TODAY’s
Böer, who has been a longtime proponent of Corey Dahl about why he continues to work
renewable energy and is a founder and fellow so hard and shared his vision for the future of
of the American Solar Energy Society, is as renewable energy.
busy as ever. He spends six days a week writ- Read the interview at solartoday.org/
ing (he has three books scheduled to hit the pioneers. ST