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Bay Area solar entrepreneur works to woo architects, builders

Louis Hansen, The Mercury News on

Published in Home and Consumer News

The industry just continues to grow. Solar this year, not only in the U.S., but globally, has become the largest form of new power generation capacity being installed worldwide. In many ways, it's the best of times.

Certainly, the presidential administration that is really somewhere between not supportive to very pro-fossil fuels is not helpful on a grand political level.

But at the end of the day, people are making the decision based on their checkbook, not on policy.

Suvi Sharma

Position: CEO, Solaria, a solar manufacturer with 35 employees

Hometown: Born in India, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Grew up in Cleveland, Tenn.

Education: Northwestern University, B.S. in mathematics and statistics

Previous jobs: Founder, COMPASS, a nonprofit started at college bringing university students to teach in poor Chicago neighborhoods. Analyst for a Duracell battery factory in Tennessee, using the money to pay off student loans. Associate at Geocapital Partners, a venture capital firm in New York.

Family: Wife Meena, son and daughter

Home: Oakland, Calif.

Age: 43

Five things about Suvi Sharma

1. His parents, Vijai and Sudha, brought his family over from India when Suvi was 8. After they retired, they moved to Oakland, just a few houses away from their son.

2. Two recent, favorite books: "A Fine Balance," a novel by Rohinton Mistry set in India, and "1491," about the Americas before Columbus arrived by Charles C. Mann.

3. Originally studied artificial intelligence at college, but had moral dilemmas about the field creating software and robots to mimic human behavior.

4. He enjoys hiking with his family among the redwood groves.

5. He spent 10 months in India after graduation, visiting small towns and working with local nonprofits to study political participation.

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