Energy Commission Adopts 2016 IEPR Update
The California Energy Commission approved a major report assessing energy trends and issues facing the state’s electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuel sectors during its business meeting yesterday.
The 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Update, which was adopted at the February 15 business meeting, highlights the state’s recent slate of legislative efforts – such as Senate Bills 32 and 1383 and Assembly Bills 197 and 1613 – which are designed, respectively, to enhance California’s nation-leading greenhouse gas reduction goals and to ensure they are implemented in a transparent and equitable way with benefits reaching disadvantaged communities.
It also examines how California’s electricity system has transformed in the last decade. The state has seen tremendous progress in the environmental performance of its electricity system in recent years, largely because of increases in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and decreases in coal-fired generation. Coal-fired electricity served about 11 percent of California’s electricity needs in 2011 and dropped to less than 6 percent by 2015, while installed capacity of renewable energy in California more than tripled since 2001.
The update also discusses efforts to decarbonize California’s energy system. The transportation sector accounted for about 37 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2014, and transitioning to zero- and near-zero emission vehicles will be a fundamental part of meeting the state’s climate goals. The state must also incorporate increasing amounts of renewable resources into the electricity sector and will need more resources that can quickly and cost-effectively ramp up or down to balance supply and demand and to compensate for the intermittency of renewable generation. Other areas discussed include the development of a regional Western electricity market, energy efficiency and demand response goals.
Finally, the report looks at the legacy of the state’s aging infrastructure and the impact that disruptions – such as the leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in late 2015 – can have on communities and on energy reliability, and examines efforts to enhance the state’s capacity to anticipate and remain resilient as the climate changes.
The Energy Commission publishes an integrated energy policy report every two years and an update in alternate years. In addition to assessing energy issues, the IEPR and the IEPR Update provide policy recommendations to conserve resources; protect the environment; ensure reliable, secure, and diverse energy supplies; enhance the state's economy; and protect public health and safety.
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