Looking Ahead Toward the Grid of the Future
Clean energy sources that are technologically advanced and generated from a decentralized location are no longer science fiction. California is moving toward that future, challenging the norms of generating electricity with power plants.
Last week’s More Than Smart conference in San Francisco explored the innovation, planning, business opportunities, and data and communications needs available to help build a distributed energy future. The third annual conference drew more than 200 attendees.
California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister spoke on a panel along with representatives from the California Public Utility Commission, the California Independent System Operator, Governor Jerry Brown’s office and The Brattle Group titled “Enabling California’s Distributed Energy Future in 2016.”
Although the conference goal was to communicate an overall state plan to move toward distributed energy, the panel focused on each office’s goals and priorities. McAllister highlighted the importance of forecasting demand on a local level and implementing a benchmarking program to help building owners understand how much energy a building uses compared to other similar buildings.
McAllister emphasized the continuing importance of energy efficiency as a central part of California’s future resource mix. Energy Commission accomplishments in energy efficiency – such as the adoption of the Existing Building Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards –offer a solid foundation for the work ahead after the passage of recent energy-related legislation.
Legislation is also key to the Energy Commission creating a nation-leading, comprehensive benchmarking and disclosure program for commercial and multifamily buildings across California. Benchmarking helps identify the most attractive upgrades for building owners, creating a critical link to investment.