Image: GRID Alternatives

Supplying reliable and sustainable energy to the state’s economy requires planning and policies underpinned by a commitment to utilization of the best available science. To this end, California’s energy infrastructure must be designed to cope with the state’s highly variable conditions and frequent disruptions from wildfires, storms, and floods, which will be exacerbated by more frequent and intense natural disasters brought by a changing climate. The impacts of climate change have potential to be drastic for the energy sector. For instance, changes in temperatures, precipitation patterns, extreme events, and sea-level rise have the potential to decrease the efficiency of thermal power plants and substations, decrease the capacity of transmission lines, render hydropower less reliable, spur an increase in electricity demand, and put energy infrastructure at risk of flooding.[1]

To address resilience of the energy sector, local jurisdictions must work with utilities and regulators. At the state level, the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) are working to address the effects of climate disruption on the energy sector. Priorities for the energy sector include actionable research, working with vulnerable communities, and continuing to invest in renewable energy, renewable distributed generation, energy efficiency, and building retrofits. All of these efforts can bolster and incorporate climate adaptation, limiting climate impacts while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A priority should be on improving energy sector resilience for vulnerable communities, as these communities will suffer disproportionately from the impacts of climate change.[2] Another important piece is for investor-owned utilities and other energy infrastructure owners to develop robust vulnerability assessments and resilience plans, incorporating the risks from a standardized set of climate scenarios.[3] Local governments can partner with utilities in these areas, to provide energy security, reduce energy demand, and improve system reliability.

All Resources for Energy


Enhancing Energy Efficiency in the Santee Unified School District - Safeguarding California Example

California Natural Resources Agency. 2018
Extreme storms
Project or Example
California state agencies collaborated to compile each of these examples, associated with Safeguarding California's 2018 update, to show how California is preparing for and adjusting to various extreme events brought on by climate change. Each of these examples highlights unique strategies, funded by the state, to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change. The examples are tagged with icons from the Safeguarding California Report, classifying stories by sector. This example highlights energy efficiency updates in a school district, reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also preparing for energy demands during extreme climate and weather events.

Los Angeles County Grid Vulnerability to Extreme Heat - Safeguarding California Example

California Natural Resources Agency. 2018
Extreme heat
Project or Example
California state agencies collaborated to compile each of these examples, associated with Safeguarding California's 2018 update, to show how California is preparing for and adjusting to various extreme events brought on by climate change. Each of these examples highlights unique strategies, funded by the state, to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change. The examples are tagged with icons from the Safeguarding California Report, classifying stories by sector.

San Diego Natural Gas Vulnerability and Resilience - Safeguarding California Example

California Natural Resources Agency. 2018
Extreme storms Flooding Sea level rise
Project or Example
California state agencies collaborated to compile each of these examples, associated with Safeguarding California's 2018 update, to show how California is preparing for and adjusting to various extreme events brought on by climate change. Each of these examples highlights unique strategies, funded by the state, to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change. The examples are tagged with icons from the Safeguarding California Report, classifying stories by sector. The California Energy Commission worked with San Diego Gas & Electric to analyze climate change impacts on San Diego's natural gas system, and to identify adaptation measures to improve climate change preparedness.

Visualizing Climate-Related Risks to the Electricity and Natural Gas Systems Using Cal-Adapt - Safeguarding California Example

California Natural Resources Agency. 2018
Drought Extreme heat Extreme storms Flooding Ocean acidification Sea level rise Snowpack Temperature Wildfire
Project or Example
California state agencies collaborated to compile each of these examples, associated with Safeguarding California's 2018 update, to show how California is preparing for and adjusting to various extreme events brought on by climate change. Each of these examples highlights unique strategies, funded by the state, to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change. The examples are tagged with icons from the Safeguarding California Report, classifying stories by sector. This example focuses on the Cal-Adapt's useful to the energy sector.

Assessment of California's Natural Gas Pipeline Vulnerability to Climate Change

California Energy Commission. 2017
Flooding Sea level rise
Assessment Data, tools, and research
The California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program supports public interest research, development, and demonstration projects to benefit California. This report is one of many products from this program. Specifically, in this case researchers as Berkeley develop a hydrodynamic model of unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution to investigate impacts of sea level rise plus storm dynamics on natural gas pipelines and facilities in the State of California. They integrated a high-resolution earth surface model with dynamic three-dimensional water modeling. This method included dynamic influences of tides and storm surges as well as surface objects that impede water flows, such as buildings. By coupling projected water levels with pipeline data the researchers were able to characterize the system’s vulnerability, and risks of damage. This information will provide valuable input for gas operation programs, investments and the development of adaptation strategies.

California Climate Science and Data for Water Resources Management

California Department of Water Resources. 2015
Drought Snowpack Temperature
Data, tools, and research
DWR releases science and data critical for climate change adaptation and mitigation for water management in California. The booklet summarizes the latest indicators, implications and strategies with regard to a changing climate and the water-energy nexus.

Extreme Weather Vulnerability and Resilience for the Independent Transportation Fuel Sector - Safeguarding California Example

California Natural Resources Agency. 2018
Extreme heat Extreme storms Flooding Wildfire
Project or Example
California state agencies collaborated to compile each of these examples, associated with Safeguarding California's 2018 update, to show how California is preparing for and adjusting to various extreme events brought on by climate change. Each of these examples highlights unique strategies, funded by the state, to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change. The examples are tagged with icons from the Safeguarding California Report, classifying stories by sector. This example highlights a research effort through California's Fourth Climate Assessment to assess energy and transportation vulnerabilities to extreme weather-related events.

Integrated Energy Policy Report

California Energy Commission. 2016
Extreme heat Extreme storms Sea level rise Temperature Wildfire
Data, tools, and research Planning and policy guidance
The Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) is a biennial report prepared by the California Energy Commission that assesses and forecasts of all aspects of energy industry supply, production, transportation, delivery and distribution, demand, and prices. The 2016 Update reviews the strategic research response underway to assist climate adaptation and vulnerability studies in the state’s energy sector and discusses the development of a set of common climate and sea level rise scenarios for use in energy infrastructure planning, such as siting new power plants and other energy infrastructure projects.

Low Income Weatherization Program - Safeguarding California Example

California Natural Resources Agency. 2018
Extreme heat
Project or Example
California state agencies collaborated to compile each of these examples, associated with Safeguarding California's 2018 update, to show how California is preparing for and adjusting to various extreme events brought on by climate change. Each of these examples highlights unique strategies, funded by the state, to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change. The examples are tagged with icons from the Safeguarding California Report, classifying stories by sector. The Low Income Weatherization Program (LIWP)-solar program works with the Single Family Affordable Solar Homes Program (SASH) on providing rebates and installing solar power for economically and environmentally disadvantaged communities.

Single Family Affordable Solar Homes Program - Safeguarding California Example

California Natural Resources Agency. 2018
Project or Example
California state agencies collaborated to compile each of these examples, associated with Safeguarding California's 2018 update, to show how California is preparing for and adjusting to various extreme events brought on by climate change. Each of these examples highlights unique strategies, funded by the state, to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change. The examples are tagged with icons from the Safeguarding California Report, classifying stories by sector. In this example, solar was installed in low-income communities through the SASH program.