For Immediate Release: February 15, 2017
Media Contact: Michael Ward - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Adopts 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission approved a major report assessing energy trends and issues facing the state’s electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuel sectors during its business meeting today.

The 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Update highlights the state’s recent slate of legislative efforts – such as Senate Bills 32 and 1383 and Assembly Bills 197 and 1613 – which are designed, respectively, to enhance California’s nation-leading greenhouse gas reduction goals and to ensure they are implemented in a transparent and equitable way with benefits reaching disadvantaged communities.

It also examines how California’s electricity system has transformed in the last decade. The state has seen tremendous progress in the environmental performance of its electricity system in recent years, largely because of increases in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and decreases in coal-fired generation. Coal-fired electricity served about 11 percent of California’s electricity needs in 2011 and dropped to less than 6 percent by 2015, while installed capacity of renewable energy in California more than tripled since 2001.

The update also discusses efforts to decarbonize California’s energy system. The transportation sector accounted for about 37 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2014, and transitioning to zero- and near-zero emission vehicles will be a fundamental part of meeting the state’s climate goals. The state must also incorporate increasing amounts of renewable resources into the electricity sector and will need more resources that can quickly and cost-effectively ramp up or down to balance supply and demand and to compensate for the intermittency of renewable generation. Other areas discussed include the development of a regional Western electricity market, energy efficiency and demand response goals.

Finally, the report looks at the legacy of the state’s aging infrastructure and the impact that disruptions – such as the leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in late 2015 – can have on communities and on energy reliability, and examines efforts to enhance the state’s capacity to anticipate and remain resilient as the climate changes.

The Energy Commission publishes an integrated energy policy report every two years and an update in alternate years. In addition to assessing energy issues, the IEPR and the IEPR Update provide policy recommendations to conserve resources; protect the environment; ensure reliable, secure, and diverse energy supplies; enhance the state's economy; and protect public health and safety.

Other actions during the meeting
The Energy Commission awarded five grants totaling $5.4 million for research and development projects that could advance small and micro-scale combined cooling, heating and power (CHP) technology. CHP systems generate electricity and use the resulting waste heat for water or space heating. Waste heat can also be run through a chiller to provide cooling or refrigeration. The systems are compact enough to support a small business or office building. Grants were awarded to University of California at Merced, ICF Incorporated LLC, Be Power Tech Inc., Element 16 Technologies Inc., and All Power Labs Inc.

Commissioners also approved several transportation-related projects:

  • Recargo, Inc. received a $2.5 million grant to install direct current fast charging stations at sites along U.S. Highway 101 and State Route 152. The stations will allow owners of electric vehicles to travel the entire length of each corridor with decreased concerns about their vehicle's range capability.
  • The Kings Canyon Unified School District, Lemoore Union High School District and the Exeter Unified School District received $500,000 each to construct or expand their compressed natural gas fueling facilities.
  • A contract with the San Diego Community College District’s Advanced Transportation Technology Energy Center was increased from $2 million to $3 million. The center provides support for specialized training in clean fuels and advanced vehicle technologies to community college students throughout the state.

For details on all actions taken today, see the business meeting agenda.

# # #

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation and preparing for energy emergencies.