Key Challenges for California’s Energy Future

Author(s): Hohbein, Rhianna; Aczel, Miriam

Release Date: June 26, 2023 | Last Updated Date: April 24, 2024

Key Challenges for California’s Energy Future

In 2022, CCST consulted with policymakers and more than 30 experts across California’s preeminent academic and research institutions to identify energy issues that needed additional attention given policy conversations and their importance to California’s clean energy future.

This process identified eight high-level key challenges, which are explored across the eight sections of this document. These sections highlight major challenges and opportunities, environmental justice and equity considerations, and resources for more information.

This peer-reviewed energy primer begins with an “Overview of California’s Energy Transition,” prepared by the Steering Committee describing a framework for California’s energy transition and key highlights.


  1. Electrification and Grid Development
  2. Utility-Scale Solar and Wind Development
  3. Reliability and the Need for Clean, Firm Power
  4. Decentralizing the Grid
  5. Carbon Capture and Storage
  6. The Future of the Natural Gas System
  7. Decarbonizing Transportation
  8. Cap-and-Trade


  • April 2024: Key Challenges was first released by CCST in June 2023. It has since been updated to include key laws passed during the 2023 legislative session and more recent data (where available). The authors also sought to include any noteworthy updates for any previously described developing situations. The best of the authors’ knowledge, it is current as of April 2024.