Research Focus Areas
PIER Environmental Research - Policy Context
With a population of more than 37 million and one of the world's largest economies, California is the tenth largest energy consumer in the world. Of this, three-quarters of the state's electricity needs are met by in-state power sources, from distributed energy to nuclear, via approximately 50,000 miles of transmission lines. Ultimately, the process of generating and distributing energy has wide-ranging and often detrimental environmental impacts on the state's ecological system.
The following legislation and policy guides PIER-EA in addressing California's energy and environmental challenges:
- Senate Bill1250: Increase energy efficiency; increase renewable energy.
- Loading Order as defined in the Energy Action Plan: Increase energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean fossil generation; improve infrastructure.
- Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR): Protect environmental quality while meeting California energy needs.
- California Public Resources Code, Section 25402.8: New building standards to conserve energy must consider impact on indoor air pollution.
- California's Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24): Promote Energy Efficiency through Building Standards.
- Assembly Bill 118: Ensure alternative and renewable fuel and vehicle deployment do not adversely impact natural resources .
- Assembly Bill 32: Reduce GHG to 1990 levels by 2020.
- Assembly Bill 1925: Report on how state can accelerate adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage for industrial CO2.
- Executive Order S-14-08 : Promote renewable development; Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.
- Executive Order S-13-08: Require preparation of Adaptation Plans for 2009 California Adaptation Strategy; Require periodic vulnerability & adaptation studies .
- Executive Order S-3-05: Require preparation of periodic climate change impacts studies.
- Energy Action Plan II: Develop cost-effective dry-cooling technologies & reduce once-through cooling practices to minimize impact of new generation on California's water resources.
- Senate Bills 1078 and 1250: RPS, 20% by 2010, 33% by 2020.
- Senate Bill 1368: GHG emission performance standard for baseload facilities of 1,100 lb. CO2 per MWh.
- Executive Order S-06-06: 20% of electricity generation from biomass and 20-40% biofuels from CA.
Additional information is available on PIER-EA activities directed at fulfilling state policy as it specifically relates to global climate change.