The national business association Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) made the arguments for greater energy choices for customers throughout the hall ways of the state Capitol of California yesterday August 19, 2015 and are hosting the Pathway to 2050 conference today at the Sacramento Convention Center. Policies the association promoted were to take California to an energy portfolio with an even greater mix of clean renewable energy to the tune of 50%. The association is comprised of a number of business giants such as General Electric, Johnson Controls, Sun Edison, Siemens, Apple, Microsoft, Solar City and Verizon.
“California has become the nation’s leader in energy innovation, and has the business growth to show for it,” said Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy. “Raising our sights sites higher will keep the momentum going.”
“Today’s conference will include policy makers, state agencies, utilities, and advanced energy companies, talking about ways to reach the state’s ambitious goals, grow the economy, and serve the customer at the same time,” said Steve Chadima, Senior Vice President of AEE, who leads the organization’s California efforts.
Speakers for today’s conference include Nancy McFadden, Executive Secretary to Governor Brown; energy and utility committee chairs Assemblyman Anthony Rendon and Senator Ben Hueso; California Air Resource Board chair Mary Nichols; California Energy Commissioner David Hochschild; California Independent System Operator President and CEO Steve Berberich; California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker and Commissioner Carla Peterman; and executives from Pacific Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.
Greater choices for the customer will be with respect for greater energy efficiency, advanced electricity generation, fuels, grid technologies, transportation and storage.
“California sets the standard nationally for energy efficiency in buildings, but there is much more that can be done, said Terrill Laughton, Vice President and General Manager for Integrated Demand Resources, Johnson Controls, Inc. “as the nation’s leader in energy technology and management, Johnson Controls supports the goal of doubling the energy efficiency of buildings beyond the state’s current high standards, and stands ready to help California achieve that goal.“
“Solar power is already meeting a significant portion of California’s energy needs, but has by no means reached its limit,” said Howard Wenger, President of Business Units, Sun Power Corp. “The solar industry is prepared to help the state reach higher in its use of clean, renewable energy.”
“Intelligent energy storage is a key component of the electric power system of the future,” said Ted Ko, Director of Policy, Stem, Inc. “as a pioneer in valuable new applications of energy storage, Stem looks forward to helping California achieve all of the major objectives captured in SB 350. The potential for consumers to manage their energy costs while simultaneously contributing to our climate goals is enormous.”
The state’s water supply issues were also addressed by the Advanced Energy Economy members. “California’s continuing growth puts enormous pressure on our natural resources, and that demands that we become more water and energy efficient,” said Robin Gilthorpe, CEO WaterSmart Software. “Water and energy are so interrelated that we canconsider them as a single resource, and now is the time to tap innovative solutions to help s create a sustainable future for California.”
Jobs are also a significant factor in advancing the state’s energy needs with the solar industry employing 77% of the jobs in the advanced electricity sector which includes heat and power, natural gas turbines, wind, nuclear, fuel cells and waste to energy. According to BW Research Partnership who prepared the report “California Advanced Energy Employment Survey” for the Advanced Energy Economy Institute, 431,800 people are employed at more than 40,000 firms engaging in advanced energies which is more than the motion picture, television, radio industries, mining and quarrying, semiconductors and aerospace.
Advanced energy employment is predicted to grow 17% in the coming year, to over 500,000 workers based on employers’ reported hiring plans over the next 12 months.
Priorities for the panoptic energy organization are to provide businesses with regulatory certainty beyond 2020, to open and expand markets for renewable, clean and distributed resources, including technologies that have emerged since passage of AB 32, and to address the state’s ongoing energy and water supply challenges.
Further goals are to influence investing cap and trade revenue to achieve maximum economic and environmental benefits by supporting more ways to leverage a portion of cap and trade revenue to spur market development and attract private capital, align revenue strategies with the state’s energy, greenhouse gas emission reduction and water conservation strategies, and to support financing measures for the deployment of renewable energy generation, energy storage and water efficiency projects.