As California strives to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 to clean the air and strengthen the economy, the world is watching and learning from what we do.
The governor of Aguascalientes, Mexico, signed an agreement in January with the California Energy Commission to collaborate on clean energy policies. The agreement is similar to a pact signed last year with the Mexican state of Jalisco. Both build upon the memorandum of understanding that Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed with Mexico's secretary of energy in 2014. Aguascalientes and Jalisco have also agreed to the Under2 MOU, a global pact of subnational jurisdictions spearheaded by California and the German state of Baden-Württemberg to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius.
Our international outreach includes near-weekly visits by foreign delegations to the Energy Commission. Sharing information helps build relationships and understanding.
In June, the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8) will be held in Beijing. California will participate in the Subnational Clean Energy Ministerial (Sub-CEM), a complementary event open to states, provinces and cities that signed or endorsed the Under2 MOU.
CEM8 will bring together energy ministers and other high-level delegates from 24 member countries and the European Union to promote policies and share best practices to accelerate the global transition to clean energy. The focus will be on scaling the deployment of clean energy technologies that are available today. Co-located with CEM8 will be the 2nd Mission Innovation Ministerial, where companies have been invited to exhibit their innovative technologies, products and business models. The exhibits will focus on six sectors: renewable energy, energy-efficient technologies and facilities, energy storage technologies and facilities, digital energy and smart grid, electric vehicles and related technologies, and finance and business model innovation.>p>The Beijing Sub-CEM will focus on the subnational leadership in addressing climate change and clean energy innovations. Both Sub-CEM and CEM build on the momentum from greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments made at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and in the Under2 MOU.
California continues to work diligently to determine the next steps needed to combat climate change and demonstrate to the world how it can be done. We have made great advances with renewable energy. Currently, 27 percent of the electricity delivered to customers in California comes from renewable sources. Our calculation, directed by legislation, does not include large hydroelectricity facilities. Last year, large hydroelectricity provided less than 6 percent of California electricity. Thanks to significant storms in the northern part of the state, large hydro could provide more than 20 percent this year.
The Energy Commission continues to expand our outreach to encourage a diverse pool of candidates for our grant programs. In March, we held public workshops to receive feedback on the proposed 2018-2020 Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) investment plan. EPIC helps bring new clean energy ideas to fruition by supporting researchers who are developing the next generation of innovations. In the Senate Bill 350 Low-Income Barriers Study submitted to the state Legislature, we recommended that a minimum of 25 percent of EPIC investments should be allocated to projects that locate demonstrations in disadvantaged communities. Last month, we held workshops in Los Angeles and Fresno to promote clean energy funding opportunities to meet the needs of disadvantaged and low-income communities.
We have also undertaken a strong employee recruitment effort. More than 60 students at Fresno State, UC Merced and Sacramento State took the energy analyst exam on campus. The smart ideas and innovation supported by the Energy Commission directly benefits California residents. We are providing the world a roadmap on how to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and grow the economy. We welcome more bright minds to help shape the future of energy policy.
Robert B. Weisenmiller
Chair, California Energy Commission