California Energy Commission Integrated Energy Policy Report

The California Energy Commission (CEC) 2013 Integrated Energy Policy Report was adopted January 15, 2014. The report includes an assessment of climate change risks to energy supply in the state and finds that climate change is likely to compromise electricity supplies, particularly during temperature spikes when demand for air conditioning will be high. The main effects on energy supply include less electricity output from thermal power plants, reduced capacity of the transmission and distribution infrastructure to deliver electricity, damage to energy infrastructure, and changes in the availability and timing of renewable energy resources, such as hydroelectric power.

Chapter 9 “Climate Change” discusses California’s GHG emissions, climate change research and projections relevant to California’s energy sector, potential impacts on energy supply and demand, strategies to safeguard the energy system from climate change impacts, and future research needed to continue to support California’s GHG reduction and safeguarding strategies.

The energy system will also be increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as wildfires and coastal flooding. About 20 coastal power plants and about 80 substations face the risk of flooding or partial flooding because of sea-level rise.

The report describes strategies for safeguarding energy system and how the energy sector is taking steps to increase its preparedness for potential climate change effects:

  • Energy generation resources are being diversified to reduce negative climate effects on any resource.
  • Studies are being done to assess vulnerability and risk for energy infrastructure and to evaluate technological alternatives to reduce risk from extreme weather conditions.
  • The Energy Commission evaluates the impacts of climate change as part of a reliability analysis within its power plant siting and licensing processes. Within this analysis, the Energy Commission considers future risks of proposed power plant sites to extreme events.
  • The Energy Commission is also developing decision support tools such as probabilistic forecasts to help reduce negative effects of climate change on California’s hydropower through more effective management of reservoirs and hydropower units. 

CA Senate Bill 1389 requires the CEC to prepare a biennial integrated energy policy report that assesses major energy trends and issues facing the state’s electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuel sectors and provides 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. The Commission prepares these assessments and associated policy recommendations every two years, with updates in alternate years, as part of the Integrated Energy Policy Report.
 

Publication Date: January 15, 2014

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  • Assessment

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