Since 1995, monthly Internet traffic has increased by a factor of 450,000. By 2018, there will be 2 billion connected devices, from wearable technologies to industrial sensors. Between 2013-2018, global annual cloud storage is projected to increase 300 percent. Every 11 seconds, a new rooftop solar system is installed in Northern California. California’s electric vehicle sales account for 40 percent of total sales nationally.

These are just a few of the jaw-dropping statistics that are included in a report the Bay Area Council Economic Institute released on Monday (April 13) that examines California’s readiness for the growing tsunami of advanced communications and energy technologies that consumers and businesses are demanding and that aggressive state climate change goals require. The Economic Institute produced the report in response to strong interest from a broad range of Bay Area Council members and at the specific request of the Executive Committee, which last year elevated the issue to one of the Council’s lead policy priorities.

The report – 21st Century Infrastructure: Keeping California Connected, Powered and Competitive – finds that many of the rules and regulations California has in place today to manage our communications and energy networks were developed decades ago before the mind-boggling proliferation of digital and mobile technologies and before we moved aggressively to find cleaner ways to power our state. The report also finds that California needs new approaches to managing the exploding growth of digital and other communications technologies and rapid changes in how the state produces, stores and delivers energy to its 37 million residents, and offers a series of recommendations for how to get there.

Download the full report>>

See a short video on the report>>

Read the press release summarizing the findings and recommendations>>

Along with the report, the Council hosted a robust discussion on these issues with top energy and communications technology leaders and experts, including PG&E CEO Tony Earley and AT&T California President Ken McNeely.

On the energy front, Lelon Winstead, Managing Director for Accenture, led a conversation with Michael Jung, Policy Director for Silver Spring Networks; Geoff Sharples, Director of Internet of Things for Energy and Industry at Intel; and Matt LeCar, Principal Consultant for GE Energy Consulting. On the communications side, former California Public Utilities Commissioner Rachelle Chong moderated a discussion with Louis Fox, President and CEO of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California; Michael Sesko, Director of Corporate Strategies for The Climate Corporation; Cupertino Mayor Rod Sinks; and Jonathan Spalter, Chair of industry group Mobile Future.

Watch the discussion>>

To participate in our 21st Century Infrastructure policy work, contact Senior Vice President Michael Cunningham.

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