Planning Environmental Research

Energy-Related Environmental Research (or PIER-EA) is responsible for addressing the environmental impacts and beneficial uses of electricity in California. The PIER strategic plan, defines the mission of PIER-EA:

"develop cost-effective approaches to evaluating and resolving environmental effects of energy production, delivery and use in California; and explore how new electricity applications and products can solve environmental problems."

PIER-EA's goal is to resolve impacts from electricity generation, transmission, and use. In addition to addressing suspected and documented environmental impacts of electricity, PIER-EA provides basic scientific information and tools needed to understand the environmental implications of energy technology and fuel types to inform the R&D choices undertaken elsewhere in the PIER Program.

Core research is being conducted in air quality, aquatic resources, terrestrial resources, and global climate change. Research in these areas is planned using research roadmaps. Generally, PIER-EA Research Roadmaps:

  • Engage stakeholders, including federal, state and local governments, industry, and other non-governmental organizations.
  • Identify gaps in ongoing research relative to selected issues.
  • Facilitate collaborations with other research institutions, state agencies, and utilities.
  • Define short-, mid-, and long-term goals, timeframes, budgets, and activities.
  • Balance timeframes and risk to provide the greatest public benefit.

PIER-EA Research Investment

Using research roadmaps as a guide, PIER-EA employs these investment approaches to identify and select the research projects that best reflect the state's energy priorities:

  • Competitive Solicitations and Small Grants - ensure that promising new technologies and methods are developed and demonstrated.
  • Targets of Opportunity - work with individual companies on specific applications and respond to unexpected opportunities, such as federal economic stimulus packages.
  • Engage the Research Community - focus California's world-class scientists and engineers at its universities, national laboratories, and industries on the state's energy and environmental priorities.

PIER-EA Research Roadmaps

PIER Environmental Area Research Plan: Environmental Context and Key Environmental Issues

Air Quality

Aquatic Resources

Terrestrial Resources

Global Climate Change