As the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, the California Energy Commission plays a critical role in creating the energy system of the future—one that is clean, modern, and ensures the fifth largest economy in the world continues to thrive. Combating climate change is fundamental to maintaining California’s future. The Energy Commission plays a key role in implementing and crafting policies and programs to create a low-carbon economy.
The Energy Commission is helping create the energy system of California’s future through activities such as:
Planning and Policy Development
Achieving California’s ambitious climate and energy goals while ensuring the state’s energy systems remain reliable, safe, and affordable requires thoughtful planning and identifying policy solutions to some of today’s toughest challenges. From analyzing the demand expected from large-scale transportation electrification to recommending the plan for closure of the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility within 10 years, the Energy Commission performs cutting-edge analysis and develops policy recommendations to solve California’s pressing energy needs and issues.
Renewable Energy Growth
California has established bold renewable energy goals—including requiring that 60 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable resources, such as wind, solar, and geothermal, by 2030.
The Energy Commission administers the state’s landmark Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), ensuring that utilities disclose their electricity supply portfolio to consumers, certify power plants, and verifies utilities are meeting the RPS targets.
An easy way to reduce the costs, environmental impacts, and vulnerabilities of the energy system is to use less energy. For more than 40 years, the Energy Commission has been pivotal in advancing energy efficiency strategies. The Energy Commission has saved consumers more than $110 billion in utility bills by adopting and implementing cost-effective appliance and building energy efficiency standards.
California-grown technological innovation is needed to create a modern energy system that can power the state in a way that is reliable, cleaner, safer, and more affordable. The Energy Commission invests in energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects. The Energy Commission provides roughly $150 million a year for electricity and natural gas system RD&D projects. In addition, more than $110 million in grants will be used to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions in California’s food processing Industry.
California’s transportation sector is the largest source of air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Commission invests about $100 million annually to develop and deploy low-carbon fuels and vehicle technologies. In addition, the Energy Commission is the state’s lead agency on electric vehicle fueling infrastructure, responsible for leading the state’s investment in plug-in electric vehicle stations and establishing the first network of retail hydrogen refueling stations in the nation.
Responsible Electricity Infrastructure
The Energy Commission helps ensure that proposed energy facilities are located, constructed, operated, and decommissioned in a manner that protects the environment, public health, and safety. In addition, the Commission performs transmission infrastructure planning.
With the increasing possibility of more severe wildfires, looming earthquakes, and extreme droughts and floods, it is critical to the health and safety of Californians to ensure that the state is ready to respond to emergencies. The Energy Commission develops California’s strategy for responding to the loss of energy supply due to a natural disaster or other emergency. The Energy Commission also helps support state emergency response efforts and, if authorized by the Governor, instructs fuel suppliers to hold and redirect fuel for use in disaster response and recovery efforts.