Energy Commission Hosts African Delegation

About two dozen delegates from sub-Saharan African nations visited the California Energy Commission to learn how it helps implement the state’s energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The delegates are from a program called the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. It is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. The University of California, Davis hosted the delegation in the six-week Specialized Institute on Energy: Pathways to Zero-Net Energy, the first and only energy institute offered for the fellowship program.


The delegates met with Energy Commission Chair Robert Weisenmiller and Energy Commissioner Janea Scott on July 21 to learn about the programs that the Energy Commission manages and administers and how they could be applied to African communities, especially for villages that are not connected to a central grid or do not have a consistent electrical supply.  The group also toured other parts of the state and visited agencies such as the California Independent System Operator and the California Public Utilities Commission.

Weisenmiller explained that in some ways, those issues can actually benefit communities by allowing them to leapfrog past fossil fuels and go straight to renewables, such as photovoltaics, because the cost of solar has dropped dramatically.

Scott discussed California’s push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its long-term transportation strategy such as the plan to have 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.

She also spoke about the Energy Commission’s investments in alternative and renewable fuels and vehicles and its efforts to put in place the infrastructure needed to support these new transportation choices.

Because of California’s role as a leader in climate and renewable energy, it regularly hosts visitors from around the globe interested in learning more about its policies and programs. Last year, it received delegations from more than 40 countries.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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