Last November, the California Energy Commission sent Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature the “Integrated Energy Policy Report,” a comprehensive look at all types of energy in the State. By November 2004, the Energy Commission will give these policymakers a 2004 Update that focuses on sources of renewable energy, transmissions lines and outdated power plants.Sacramento California – August 10, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] As part of the ongoing process to help government understand the State’s changing electricity picture and to better make decisions that will secure supplies in the future, the Energy Commission has just released draft staff white papers that examine these three key aspects of the State’s electricity supply and demand. The three papers detail the complexities of adding new renewable sources of electricity, planning transmission upgrades to meet California’s changing needs, and dealing with the retirement of aging power plants. Later this month, the Energy Commission will hold workshops to gather comments and to form recommendations for both the Energy Commission’s 2004 Update and the upcoming 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report, due in November 2005. In terms of renewable energy, the CEC had this preliminary information to share. “Accelerated Renewable Energy Development” To help insure a diverse mix of electricity supplies for the state, the Energy Commission staff stresses the need for a more vigorous and long-term development of renewable energy sources beyond 2010. By that year, California, through a renewables portfolio standard, expects to produce 20 percent of its electricity from the sun, wind, biomass and other renewable sources. In this white paper, the staff highlights industry trends and policy responses that can affect the rate of growth of new renewable energy investments in California. If new ventures in renewable energy suffer a slowdown, the fuel supply for California’s electricity is expected to become increasingly dependent on natural gas. To avoid losing momentum, the white paper recommends setting post-2010 goals for more fully developing the potential of renewable resources. Workshops on the three white papers will be held in Sacramento on August 23, August 26, and August 27, 2004, starting at 9 a.m. PDF files of the three white papers are available at the links listed below.