Lab

Program on Energy and Sustainable Development

Next-Generation Energy Policies in California

California has set the goal of 100 percent electricity consumption being carbon-free by 2045. Achieving this goal while maintaining a reliable supply of electricity at a reasonable price will require significant changes in California’s electricity supply industry. Modifications of wholesale and retail pricing policies are necessary to support investments in short-term and seasonal storage facilities. Because wind and solar generation units must be built where the underlying resource exists, substantial transmission network expansions are required between regions with rich wind and solar resources and major urban centers. “Public support for aggressive climate action in California could decline if there are adverse grid reliability and cost implications from pursuing these goals,” said Frank Wolak, professor of economics. He and his team at Stanford’s Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, will work with the California Public Utilities Commission to research, design and implement next-generation policies and regulations to support a smooth transition to a low-carbon electricity sector.

Principal InvestigatorFrank Wolak, Economics, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD), Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI)

Co-Principal InvestigatorsMark Thurber, Associate Director, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD), Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI); Trevor Davis, postdoctoral scholar, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD), Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI); Christoph Graf, postdoctoral scholar, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD), Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI)

Partner: California Public Utilities Commission