Recently ReNewable Now was invited to cover and participate in apanel discussion that focused on the economic outlook for renewable energy within the state of Rhode Island. The event took place in the city of Providence and was organized byBlumShapiro, an accounting, tax, and business consulting firm based in New England with offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The panel included some very well known local experts when it comes to the business of sustainability. Representing the State of Rhode Island was Chris Kearns, Chief of Program Development for the RI Office of Energy Resources who spoke about programs the state is implementing to create a more conducive environment for renewables. From the management and development side of renewable energy, Julian Dash founder of Clean Economy
Development, and formerly the Director of Renewable Energy for the RI Economic Development Corporation spoke about how to begin the process of engaging in a renewable energy project. FromDeepwater Wind the CEO is Jeff Grybowski, who was on hand and spoke about the immensity of his project, the very first offshore wind farm in the United States. Jeff spoke about the complexities of moving such a project forward; everything from safety to a properly trained work force that will see this two year project employing hundreds, if not thousands. We have to mention that it was a bit eye opening when Jeff shared with the audience that Deepwater Wind has paid$15 million in regulatory costs and permits, just to get approval. Rounding off the panel was ReNewable Now's very own Peter Arpin who shared with the audience the excellent return Arpin Group has had with its investment into solar, and their continued investment in the renewable energy business itself.
As the discussion evolved it became evident that the trend towards sustainability is quickly speeding up, as Julian Dash referenced,"It's no longer a political issue, where five years ago people would have said the numbers weren't there, today the costs have come down so much that those same peoples’ opinions have evolved where politics isn't an issue." This trend was also reflected in a number of people we spoke with that were in the audience who indicated that they have either already begun installing some form of renewable energy into their business, or were actually taking the first steps in learning how to proceed.
For ReNewable Now we wanted to know a bit more about why
BlumShapiro has taken an interest in renewable energy and what was their motivation behind organizing the conference? We also wanted to know what the firm was doing to establish itself, and its expertise as it relates to the future growth of clean energy? So we were fortunate enough to catch up with Greg Cabral, Managing Partner of BlumShapiro, who spent some time chatting with Peter Arpin about the how the firm is embracing the business side of green.