The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the final 2003 Integrated Energy Policy Report. The document contains numerous recommendations to the Governor about current and potential energy problems confronting the State. Among its recommendations is a call to accelerate the timeframe to meet the 20 percent goal for the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), and require all retail sellers of electricity to meet the goal. The report also recommends developing more ambitious targets beyond the current 20 percent goal.Sacramento, California – November 14, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The report is the first of an annual reporting process that will examine major energy trends and issues within California’s transportation, electricity, and natural gas industries. “The report we approved today marks a new era for State energy policy,” said Energy Commissioner James Boyd, presiding member of the committee that produced the document. “For the first time in many years, the State has a means to foster an on-going dialog among State, local and federal government participants, energy companies, public interest groups and other stakeholders. It provides a way to develop workable policies that will benefit all Californians.” Policy recommendations in the report balance the need to conserve resources, protect the environment, ensure energy reliability, enhance the economy and protect public health. To protect the State’s energy supply, the new report establishes the goals of encouraging energy efficiency and harvesting the benefits; diversifying fuel types; encouraging customer alternatives; and improving energy infrastructure. Major recommendations of the report include: – Increased emphasis on the need for infrastructure improvements to keep up with the growth in demand for petroleum, natural gas and electricity. – More stringent energy efficiency targets for 2008, and a recommendation that the State implement real-time and dynamic pricing of electricity to reduce peak load by 5 percent. – Accelerating the timeframe to meet the 20 percent goal for the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), and requiring all retail sellers of electricity to meet the goal. The report also recommends developing more ambitious targets beyond the current 20 percent goal. – Recommendations to establish a coordinated permitting process for facilities that would import Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to the West Coast, including Baja. At the same time, in-state production of natural gas should be encouraged. – Encouraging additional cogeneration and distributed generation in California, and examining the implications of retiring or replacing aging, inefficient power plants. – An emphasis on the use of non-potable water sources for power plant cooling. – A recommendation that the State take into account the cost of greenhouse gas emissions and their environmental consequences when making energy decisions. – Establishing the goal of reducing petroleum consumption used for transportation by 15 percent from current levels by 2020. Legislation requires the California Energy Commission to adopt the report every two years. The initial report is due to the Governor and the Legislature in November 2003. The report, along with errata, is available at the Energy Commission’s website at the link below.