Meeting the California Governor’s Goals for Local Renewable Generation
In This Section
The Governor's Conference on Local Renewable Energy Resources
Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
The Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at Berkeley Law
Luskin Center for Innovation, University of California at Los Angeles
Bank of America
Governor Brown has called for 12,000 MW of renewable power generated within the local power distribution grid. Implementing this effort will provide important advantages in California’s drive for clean power – development of local resources, avoided costs of new intercity transmission or remote generation, and additional consumer autonomy.
In July 2011, CLEE - with the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA and supported by Bank of America - worked with the Governor’s Office to convene a working conference, attended by more than 270 political and renewable energy leaders, to discuss how to achieve this ambitious goal.The July 25 and 26 invitation-only conference was highly participatory and required extensive facilitation and advance work. CLEE oversaw the creation of 11 pre-conference discussion papers and trained conference facilitators. CLEE is now preparing a major report that will be instrumental to informing state local renewable energy policy.
Achieving Governor Brown's ambitious goal calls for new approaches and coalitions between consumers, community leaders, utilities and power providers. Promising innovations include:
- Financing tools that help build new power sources, but also keep costs as low as possible.
- Improvements to existing wires and transformers, and new policies to speed connections
- Policies and techniques to measure and manage power demand and variable power sources
- New efforts in local land use, building and fire codes to speed up deployment.
Unlike large utility-scale renewables projects, which compete in a statewide market, these small-scale projects are tied to the local grid and are more sensitive to local conditions. Many of these issues stand outside or straddle the policy authorities of individual federal or local agencies. No one constituency can resolve the challenges in every jurisdiction.
Conference materials, including discussion papers set for each panel, were available to all participants in advance. These papers are available to read and download on the Governor's website. A full conference agenda is also available on the website.
- The Atlantic has posted video of the conference. Watch the video here.
- In Our Backyard: How to Increase Renewable Energy Production on Big Buildings and Other Local Spaces. Ethan Elkind, December 2009. http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/In_Our_Backyard.pdf