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The Key to Renewable Energy Development: Aggressiveness

By: Joseph Tassone Jr.

June 21, 2023

Undoubtedly, the world of real estate development is extremely competitive. After all, there is a limited amount of land and even more limited are parcels that actually fit a developer’s need in a given market. In the renewable energy sector, this competition escalates even further, driven by factors such as grid congestion, timing of incentives, and challenging permitting environments. In this highly competitive field, the key to success isn’t just strategy or foresight—it’s aggressiveness.

In the renewable energy industry, first movers hold a considerable advantage; the proverbial early bird getting the worm, or in this case, the choicest development opportunities. There is, indeed, immense value in being the first to identify, secure, and capitalize on these opportunities. On several occasions, I have witnessed clients take aggressive, early positions in burgeoning markets and reap tremendous dividends.

Unlike traditional industries, renewable energy developers cannot afford a ‘wait and see’ approach. The sector is known for rapid change and shifting landscapes, driven by technological advancements, public sentiment, and policy changes. It rewards those who aggressively track and predict these shifts, and who are willing to throw their hats into the ring before the dust has settled. Often, by the time a market has fully come to fruition, the prime development opportunities are gone and land is scarce. 

 Yet, the concept of aggressiveness goes beyond being proactive. It embodies persistence and a relentless drive in the pursuit of those opportunities. Often it takes several conversations with a landowner or permitting authority for a developer to get the ‘yes’ they are looking for – and often can come after they’ve been told ‘no’ multiple times. Sometimes it is about persistence, sometimes it is about timing. What didn’t make sense for someone a year ago, can suddenly be the right fit. Being persistent over a sustained period of time and employing a variety of approaches is needed to capitalize on the market. The power of partnerships and collaborations should also not be overlooked. All it takes is the right alignment to unlock the opportunity – or opportunities.

Yet, aggressiveness in renewable energy development is not synonymous with recklessness. Instead, it implies a willingness to take calculated risks. It requires an understanding that while not all opportunities will pan out, the rewards from those that do are well worth the gamble. Aggressive companies are those that carefully weigh the potential benefits against the risks, yet aren’t afraid to make bold moves when the circumstances warrant.

Adopting an aggressive stance also necessitates a shift in organizational culture. It requires fostering an environment that values tenacity, encourages innovative thinking, and isn’t afraid of potential failures. This cultural shift can be challenging, yet it is integral for companies aiming to thrive in the competitive landscape of renewable energy development.

In conclusion, the renewable energy sector is a high-risk, high-reward environment where aggressiveness is a crucial factor in outpacing the competition. Developers need to be swift, proactive, and relentless in their pursuit of opportunities. They should be open to forming strategic partnerships, taking calculated risks, and fostering an organizational culture that encourages such dynamism. In the face of accelerating climate change and growing demand for sustainable energy, such aggressiveness isn’t just advisable—it’s essential.

Joe Tassone Jr. is founder and a principal of Oncore Origination and has over twenty-five years of project development experience.

 Visit www.oncoreorig.com for more information.