Consultants Study CEO Perspectives and Recommendations on California’s Advanced Energy Policies

An Analysis Group team, including Principal Paul Hibbard, Vice President Andrea Okie, and Senior Advisor Susan Tierney, partnered with the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) Institute to study how California business leaders view that state's energy policies.

The report, "California's Advanced Energy Economy: Advanced Energy Business Leaders' Perspectives and Recommendations on California's Energy Policies," captures the information from a series of in-depth interviews the team conducted with CEOs and senior executives from advanced energy companies that have operations in the state. The study found that executives approve of California's efforts to advance energy technology but are concerned about the state's complicated regulatory landscape.

Despite California's ongoing fiscal challenges related to a slowly recovering U.S. economy and deep cuts in local budgets, the state has been the test bed for a number of cutting-edge clean energy policies. These include higher fuel standards for automobiles and greater infrastructure support for the development of alternative vehicles; enhanced markets for renewable and advanced energy resources, as well as the deployment of various energy efficiencies; and increased investment in smart grid, transmission, and on-site generation technologies.

Additionally, California has launched a multisector cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; this new policy, known as AB32, imposes significant compliance requirements on firms and organizations but also promises to generate increased revenues for state and utility use, according to regulators.

The advanced energy executives interviewed suggested that moving these policy programs forward effectively will require a concerted effort across different parts of the state government to manage programs in a way that avoids waste and inefficiency and mitigates potential cost impacts that could create a backlash against California's energy leadership. They also call for more simplicity and accountability in the administration of the state's complex web of energy policies and initiatives.

Feedback from these leaders is critical, Mr. Hibbard said in an AEE press release: "Private enterprise will determine to a large degree the success or failure of these policies for California's economy and its residents."

Read the report