KEEPING CALIFORNIA CONNECTED, POWERED AND COMPETITIVE
A few stories in the news this week highlighted the growing urgency for ensuring California’s energy and communications systems can keep pace with rapid advances in technology, changes in where we get our energy and the dramatic effects of historic drought. They are also timely as the Bay Area Council Economic Institute prepares to unveil a detailed report on April 13 that examines California’s energy and communications infrastructure and makes a series of recommendations for updating the state’s regulatory framework to meet 21st Century demands. Stories in Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times explored California’s nation-leading use of solar energy and the technological challenges of creating a robust energy storage system needed to incorporate this irregular energy supply into the power grid.
At the same time, multiple news stories focused on the threat that drought poses to the 12 percent of energy the state gets from hydroelectric power. Addressing uncertainty of the state’s energy supply will require both new energy management technologies and advanced communications networks to help industry and consumers improve efficiency. However, it’s not entirely clear that California’s regulatory system is ideally positioned to enable and adopt these new technologies. The Economic Institute and the Bay Area Council will host a forum on April 13 where we unveil our new report – 21st Century Infrastructure: Keeping California Connected, Powered and Competitive – and discuss these issues with leading energy and communications experts.