Policies for California’s Energy Future – Electricity Pricing and Electrification for Efficient Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Author(s): Friedman, Lee S.

Release Date: October 23, 2013 | Last Updated Date: February 17, 2015


This is the first publication produced as part of CCST’s California’s Energy Future – Policy (CEF-P) project, a study designed to help inform the policy related decisions California state and local governments must make in order to achieve California’s ambitious goals of significantly reducing total greenhouse gas emissions over the next four decades.

California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) and Executive Order S-3-05 set strict standards for the state to meet. In order to comply, California needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 while accommodating projected growth in its economy and population. This will likely require maximizing efficiency in all economic sectors, electrification of much of the transportation sector and many stationary uses of heat, a doubling of electricity production with nearly zero emissions, and development of low-carbon fuels. Achieving these goals will require a combination of strategies; some are available now, while others will require substantial research and development to realize. CCST explored the technical potentials of energy technologies in the California’s Energy Future project. The CEF-P project is designed to help connect the technical findings of the CEF project with the realities and concerns of policy and implementation.

This report discusses pricing policy modifications that will help to make decarbonization and electrification decisions effectively and efficiently. It is authored by Lee S. Friedman, an economist and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.