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Energy Policy in California

Carl Blumstein, California Institute for Energy and Environment, University of California
Aug 04, 2011 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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For almost 40 years California’s electricity consumption per capita has remained nearly constant while US average consumption has increased by about 50%. Many factors have contributed to the difference between California and the US, however the relative importance of these factors is not precisely known. But it seems likely that energy policy in California, which is different from policies in other states, is part of the explanation.  Energy policy in California, unlike the US’s national policy, has consistently emphasized energy efficiency and renewable energy. This talk will follow the course of energy policy in California, beginning in 1974 with the establishment of a Commission with authority to set energy performance standards for buildings and appliances, and ending with recent efforts to implement laws requiring substantial reductions in emissions of greenhouse gasses. The speaker, whose energy career in California spans the entire period, will discuss opinions about what has worked and what has not worked.

Carl Blumstein, currently Director of CIEE, is also one of its founders. Carl has 35 years of experience in energy research and R&D management, and served for 10 years as the Associate Director of CIEE before becoming the Director in 2002. As Associate Director he represented UC in the regulatory and legislative proceedings that lead to the establishment of the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. Carl has worked with the PIER program in a variety of capacities since its inception in 1998. He also has a research appointment at the UC Energy Institute where he has been an Energy Policy Analyst since 1981. His research interests center on energy efficiency and energy policy.

Carl's recent work has included publications concerning evaluation and incentives for energy efficiency programs, the administration of energy efficiency programs, restructuring in the electric power supply industry, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and the role of market transformation in energy efficiency programs.

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