Palm Springs, CA (PRWEB) November 01, 2012
The Palm Springs Convention Center recently played host to the 4th annual Southern California Energy Summit 2012. The two day summit was aimed at regional partnership amongst policy makers, companies, and even non-profits, to foster strategies and practices which will help expedite work towards making Southern California the world leader in renewable energy.
President and COO of Southern California Gas Company, Dennis V. Arriola, talked with SoCal CEO magazine’s Dwight Cromie, he stated that events like these are important because it’s a time “to collaborate, share ideas and to plot out the future. Without these events a lot of the policy that gets created is very one-sided.” According to Paul Granillo, CEO of IEEP, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties are going through a “growth period” and are expected to increase by 1.8 million new residents in the coming years. He said “if we were a state we’d be the 26th largest state in the country.” So looking into the future of our water and energy sources is vital.
Keynote speaker California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, said one of his main priorities is keeping and increasing trade and investments within the state, “Foreign investors are coming to California at record levels.” He stated that renewable energy is “one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy.” Starting in November credits will begin being sold for the Cap & Trade Program, part of the AB 32 legislation which was signed in 2006. “Those dollars,” says Newsom, “will be reinvested in low-carbon, green strategies to dramatically change the way we generate and use energy.” Plus he went on to discuss how the initiative will force the creation of new small businesses thus leading to job creation in the region.
“We have the greatest opportunity of anywhere in the United States,” said Wesley Ahlgren, COO of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, when speaking about the possibility of growing the renewable energy business throughout Southern California. Despite what he called “policy challenges with California” he was optimistic that over the next few years the region could rise to the level of becoming one of biggest sources of renewable energy in the world. “We need to capitalize on it.”
The Inland Empire alone hosts four of the five recognized renewable energy sources; wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. The conference, which hosted nearly 600 stakeholders, led to many discussions amongst businesses and individuals as to what the synergy between these aspects is and how they can best be joined for optimal efficiency and job creation.
“It’s a great networking opportunity,” said Ahlgren, and “relationships in this industry are huge.”