U.S. Department of Energy

    California Energy Policy Looks to Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    November 30, 2005

    The latest energy policy report from the California Energy Commission (CEC) places a heavy emphasis on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Noting that the development of new renewable resources has been slower than anticipated, the CEC recommends simplifying, streamlining, and expediting the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard process. The report also says the state needs to focus on repowering aging wind facilities to increase the amount of renewable generation from these prime sites, while addressing the current barriers to integrating intermittent wind resources into the state's transmission system. With the need to aggressively bring new generation online, the CEC also recommends new incentives and requirements for greater use of combined heat and power systems. In terms of transportation fuels, the report concludes that California must "vigorously support the rapid development and availability of alternative fuels so that their air quality and petroleum replacement benefits can be realized." Overall, the report reaffirms the order of priorities set by Governor Schwarzenegger's Energy Action Plan in meeting the state's supply needs: energy efficiency first, followed by demand response and renewable energy. See the CEC press release and the energy policy report.

    Photo of a large house with two large rectangles of solar panels on its roof.

    The California Energy Commission provided a $40,500 rebate for this home solar power system in San Jose.
    Credit: Akeena Solar

    The CEC has also issued the latest update on its Renewable Energy Program, which passed its seven-year anniversary in June. According to the report, the New Renewables Facilities Program has resulted in 47 projects that are currently online and producing electricity, representing 488 megawatts of new renewable capacity. The Emerging Renewables Program has helped to support 13,823 new systems, which generate about 55 megawatts of distributed capacity. The CEC has also certified 427 facilities as eligible for the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard. The facilities represent 6,400 megawatts, of which 517 megawatts is proposed new capacity from 13 planned facilities. See the CEC quarterly update (PDF 209 KB) and the Renewable Energy Program Web page. Download Adobe Reader.