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CalMatters: How California Can Wake From the Wildfire-Blackout Nightmare

Posted by Nat Kreamer and Mark Ferron on Dec 10, 2019

CalMatters published a commentary by AEE CEO Nat Kreamer and Mark Ferron (former on CAISO board member and CPUC commissioner) on the opportunity Gov. Newsom has to address California's wildfire challenges with the state's leading advanced energy expertise. Read excerpts below and the entire CalMatters piece here. 

The wildfires and blackouts that have blighted our state are causing many Californians to question utility motivations, the effectiveness of regulators to protect citizens’ interests, and, ironically, the clean energy and grid investments that mitigate wildfire risk and improve electricity system reliability. To break the cycle of wildfires, blackouts, and electricity rate hikes, we need determined leadership by Gov. Gavin Newsom and help from an industry that California uniquely has at its disposal. 

Gov. Newsom took a necessary step when he named an internal team, headed by Cabinet Secretary Ana Matosantos, to lead the charge on the PG&E bankruptcy and a future plan for the utility. Now we must enlist California’s world-leading energy experts to help.

The governor should appoint an external task force with the right business and technology expertise to support his internal team. The task force should make utility business model, corporate finance, and technology investment recommendations that can be implemented quickly, so we can abate further destruction and disruption, and create an electricity system that is reliable, safe, and clean. Specifically, the task force should advise the governor on:

  • Concluding the PG&E bankruptcy so that investment commences immediately to create a reliable, safe, and clean power grid. The solution to PG&E should address uncertainty around wildfire victim claims and restore the faith of capital markets, as well as customers, in California’s electricity system.
  • Developing a utility business model that aligns the state’s climate and energy priorities with strengthening grid resilience and community interests.
  • Identifying the technologies and investments needed to minimize climate risk and modernize the electric grid for a 100% clean energy and transportation future...

Read the entire CalMatters piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News