On May 8, 2012, Mayor Julián Castro and City leaders welcomed Gregory Barker, U.K. Minister of Energy and Climate Change, and a special trade delegation of clean energy-related British companies to exchange good practices. In addition to meeting with City leaders, the U.K. delegation met with representatives from CPS Energy and the Mission Verde Alliance, a non-profit organization that supports the city’s plan to build a 21st century economy comprised of initiatives that seek to improve energy efficiency, utilize renewable materials, improve air and water quality, and enhance sustainability.
"It's an honor to welcome Gregory Barker and a special delegation from the U.K. to share information about San Antonio's progress in the new energy economy," said Mayor Castro. "Through our progressive City programs and initiatives, San Antonio is quickly becoming a leader in the areas of solar and renewable energy, as well as a model community for sustainability, and we are pleased to have discussions with a world leader in energy and climate change."
Highlights of the delegation's visit to San Antonio included a tour of CPS Energy's Blue Wing Solar Farm, San Antonio's first solar farm and the largest solar array in Texas, and a keynote address by Barker at a luncheon on "Energy Independence through Efficiency" hosted by the World Affairs Council of San Antonio.
As Minister of State, Barker leads U.K. policy on public sector energy efficiency, national and international climate change, energy innovation, and green jobs and skills. The Minister’s priorities that align with San Antonio’s initiatives include cost-effective reduction of carbon emissions by revolutionizing energy efficiency and eliminating the need to pay upfront for energy efficiency measures that instead should be covered by savings on the electricity bill.
"The growing global market in green goods and services represents a huge range of opportunities for U.K. and San Antonio businesses," Barker said. "Britain and San Antonio, under Mayor Castro's leadership, are leading the way in demonstrating that the shift to a green economy is beneficial for businesses and growth."