In search of innovative technologies to improve the state’s electricity system, the California Energy Commission has launched a series of solicitations to fund research and development projects, investing more than $100 million in solutions for California homes, businesses, and industries. Projects will be funded by the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC).
The first of more than two dozen upcoming solicitations was released in March and seeks emerging technologies for new construction and upgrades to existing buildings. Technologies can provide various types of solutions such as advanced heating and cooling systems to help meet California’s Zero Net Energy goals for new residential and commercial buildings.
“This is a new beginning for energy research in California,” said Robert B. Weisenmiller, chair of the California Energy Commission. “These projects will spark new ideas and technologies that will make our electricity system safer, more reliable, cleaner and more efficient, plus give ratepayers more energy choices and control over their energy use.”
The Energy Commission through EPIC will invest in clean energy technologies to benefit the electricity ratepayers of California’s three largest investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. Funding is authorized in the areas of applied research and development, technology demonstration and deployment, and market facilitation.
The Energy Commission will offer more than two dozen funding opportunities throughout 2014. Upcoming solicitations target projects to advance energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, energy storage, and reliable distribution systems, such as microgrids. A detailed list of planned solicitations is available on the Energy Commission’s website.
The Energy Commission has a long history of funding successful innovation. Ratepayers will save an estimated $10 billion as a result of just 19 previous research and development projects whose results led to new state efficiency standards. That is a return on investment of $446 for every $1 invested by the Energy Commission in these types of projects.
“Energy efficiency continues to be an important way to reduce energy use and cost, as well as greenhouse gas emissions,” said Weisenmiller. “Our energy research and development investments drive innovation and our progress toward a clean energy future.”