California’s Energy Tech Funding Keeps Rolling

California has a large and broad energy usage, and a very diverse energy mix. We also have one of the best energy tech funding programs in the country, as fitting with our status. A bit on both.

A few of our California energy statistics to think about:

We get 42% of our oil from our own wells (these amounts and the percentages have been declining for 20 years, it was 60% in 1980), 22% from Alaska, and 36% from overseas (the big suppliers are Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Ecuador).

We get only 15% of our natural gas from instate, the rest coming from Canada and other Western US states. Maybe Californians really should enter the debate about an Alaskan North Slope gas pipeline.

We generate 80% of our electricty instate with that same natural gas the largest source, at 40%, with the rest split between coal, rewewables (mainly wind and biomass), hydro, and nuclear, with coal the largest of those sources.

California Energy Commission has a number of programs running to fund and promote new and clean energy technologies in the state. Full details here.

The big ones include:

PIER – Small business R&D grants that in the past have included programs in new generation technologies, energy efficiency, and demand response. At $60 mm per year, PIER is one of, if not the largest government R&D funding program of any non-federal agency. The key funding areas are:

Buildings End-Use Energy Efficiency
Energy Innovations Small Grant Program
Energy-Related Environmental Research
Energy Systems Integration
Environmentally-Preferred Advanced Generation
Industrial/Agricultural/Water End-Use Energy Efficiency
Renewable Energy Technologies

Renewable Energy Funding – CEC runs ths solar rebate programs, to the tune of $135 mm/year. This is one of the largest in the US. Keep in mind, this is state money set aside by the legislature. The new solar news is about the recent PUC solar program – that’s ratepayer money mandated and overseen by the PUC (see earlier Cleantechblog post) . Though if I understand correctly, it is a close partnership as CEC has earmarked some of its funds for some allied programming related to new construction.

I know a lot of Californian’s don’t know exactly where we get our energy, and what we as a state are paying to improve that energy use and demand in the future, but as far as I’m concerned, kudos to the CEC and the people who keep it going.

If you’re not on the CEC listserv, check it out. The mailing list includes information on all upcoming RFPs as well as energy news.

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