Summit showcases renewable energy in Southern California

POSTED: 05:44 PM PDT Oct 04, 2012    UPDATED: 06:00 PM PDT Oct 04, 2012 
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

A two-day energy summit at the Palm Springs Convention Center aims to showcase Southern California as the epicenter of renewable energy.

The Southern California Energy Summit includes exhibits, presentations, and panel discussions on renewable energy projects and green jobs.

It's also drawing in policy makers.

Thursday, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom presented his economic development strategy for the state.

"A low-carbon, green growth strategy -- dramatically changing the way we produce and consume energy -- is the ticket to broad-based economic prosperity, I believe, in the state of California," said Newsom.

At the local level, Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit was busy touting green energy opportunities.

"Currently, we have several major projects -- there will be a lot more coming in Eastern Riverside County," said Benoit.

As a keynote speaker, Benoit focused on the Salton Sea.

While there's been controversy and a lot of money spent trying to figure out how to save the sea, Benoit said renewable energy could be the answer.

"In terms of what we see for the future of eastern Riverside County -- we've talked a lot about the huge potential for solar, we've got a lot of wind energy and interest. But the Salton Sea has not been hilighted as one of the potential solutions for energy problems and how that could help us solve the Salton Sea problem," said Benoit.