California Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Independent Review Panel Final Report

Release Date: March 1, 2001 | Last Updated Date: March 1, 2001

PIER Final Report Cover

More Information About This Project

The PIER Program was established to fund research, development, and demonstration projects that focus on renewable forms of energy. The program was created when California’s electricity industry was restructured in 1996. As of December 2000, the CEC had awarded approximately $105 million in projects, small grants, and memberships. Many of the projects have the potential to reduce energy demand, improve system reliability, or address environmental issues.

The CEC asked CCST to nominate a 12-member independent review panel to evaluate the PIER program’s public value and make recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor. The CEC took steps following the panel’s preliminary review in 2000.

The PIER final report was delivered to Governor Gray Davis and the Legislature in March 2001. In addition, CCST took the message of the PIER review panel to Washington D.C. to brief the California delegation. The CEC commissioned CCST to perform a similar review in 2004 and 2005.

Principal recommendations:

  • The PIER program should remain within the CEC, as long as the commission works over the next year to transform PIER into a high-quality research program.
  • The CEC must continue to provide the Governor and Legislature with forecasts of energy trends, needs, and resources to use in formulating state policy.
  • The CEC must inform the California Congressional Delegation of federal funding needs for energy RD&D projects, and expand partnerships and collaborations with other research centers.