A new report out from Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), which supports solar, wind and other clean energy sources, surveyed 30 energy CEOs and other senior energy executives about California’s current and future efforts to build out its advanced energy infrastructure. While they praised the state’s efforts and results, they raised some issues and concerns they hope the state can address in a way that makes it easier for the state to build out solar and other clean energy sources.
“California is widely recognized as a global leader in encouraging advanced energy growth,” said Graham Richard, AEE CEO. “But the sheer number of policies, agencies and programs designed to support advanced energy development make it difficult for companies to navigate. This report offers a series of recommendations from California’s business leaders that can accelerate advanced energy success. This will unleash great economic and environmental benefits for California.”
The executives commended California for adopting policies that fostered the US’s leading solar and renewable energy markets, vehicle fuel standards, alternative energy vehicles and associated infrastructure, building energy and appliance efficiency and more. They also cited California’s cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through AB 32, as a leading policy that has led to positive advances for clean and advanced energy sources. But they said the state’s complex myriad of agencies, policies and programs make it hard for companies realize the state’s goals.
As such they recommended California take several measures to improve the energy climate in California. Chiefly they called for an easy-to-understand integrated plan to support advanced energy. They called on the state to establish stability and predictability in the advanced energy market to foster innovation from businesses, attract investors, and use funding from the AB 32 revenues to fill gaps in private sector. They also called on the state to avoid programs that pick technology winners by encouraging competition in the market.
The report suggested that the state’s governor should appoint a business ombudsman to help advanced energy companies in navigate the advanced energy policies, programs, and requirements. It also suggested California reform its California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to streamline its environmental review process and prevent abuse. Advanced energy projects could be completed faster and at lower cost if compliance with CEQA were more straightforward and if the law were less easily used by opponents to obstruct worthy projects.
You can download a copy of the report, “California’s Advanced Energy Economy: Advanced Energy Business Leaders’ Perspectives and Recommendations on California’s Energy Policies”, here.