Energy Research Development and Deployment
Energy research, development, and deployment (RD&D) programs are an essential part of the effort to achieve California’s climate and energy policy goals. As California moves toward a clean energy future, the technologies and practices that keep the state’s electricity and natural gas systems safe, reliable and affordable must be modernized.
The CPUC oversees large RD&D programs that drive investment in new and emerging energy technologies and solutions that provide benefits to Californians. By testing ideas and sharing results publicly, these programs help investors, innovators, and policymakers plan efficiently for California’s clean energy future.
Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC)
- D.11.12-035 established interim EPIC funding levels
- D.12-05-037 fully established the EPIC Program
- D.13-04-030 provided correction to D.12-05-037
- Senate Bill 96 (Section 25711.5) directed the CEC's process for implementing EPIC
- R.19-10-005 proceeding to review the EPIC program to consider continuing funding
- D.20-08-042 renewed the EPIC Program through 2030
- D.21-11-028 approved the IOUs continued role in administering EPIC
The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) supports the development of new, emerging, and pre-commercialized clean energy innovations in California. These projects must be designed to ensure benefits in the form of equitable access to safe, affordable, reliable, and environmentally sustainable energy for electricity ratepayers. EPIC consists of three program areas: Applied Research and Development (Applied R&D), Technology Demonstration and Deployment (TD&D), and Market Facilitation, described in more detail in Table 1.
|Applied R&D||Investment in applied energy science and technology that
provides public benefit but for which there is no current
deployment of private capital
|TD&D||Investments in technology demonstrations at real-world scales
and in real-world conditions to showcase emerging innovations
and increase technology commercialization
|Market Facilitation||Investments in market research, regulatory permitting and
streamlining, and workforce development activities to address
non-price barriers to clean technology adoption
The CPUC oversees and monitors the implementation of the ratepayer-funded EPIC. For EPIC investment periods 1, 2, 3, and 4, there are four program administrators: the California Energy Commission (CEC), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E). The CEC administers 80% of EPIC funds while the three large investor-owned utilities together administer 20% of the funds.
Each administrator is required to submit an EPIC investment plan outlining their proposed projects for a given investment period in the form of an application to the CPUC. Each application and the decisions reviewing and approving them can be found in Table 2 below. To date, roughly $2.5 billion have been allocated to fund EPIC projects.
Table 2. EPIC Program Administrator Investment Plan Applications (A.) and CPUC Decisions (D.)
|EPIC 1 (2012- 2014)
Funding: $467 million
|EPIC 2 (2015-2017)
Funding: $510 million
|EPIC 3 (2018-2020)
Funding: $555 million
EPIC 4 (2021-2025)
EPIC Events and Materials:
For more information about EPIC, please visit the following links:
Natural Gas Research and Development
- Natural Gas R&D Rulemaking R.02-10-001
- D.04-08-010 established the Natural Gas R&D program
- Assembly Bill 1002 Natural gas: Consumption surcharge
The Natural Gas Research and Development program funds the development and deployment of improved natural gas technologies and practices. Established by the CPUC in 2004, pursuant to Assembly Bill 1002, the program is administered by the California Energy Commission (CEC's) R&D Division. The Natural Gas R&D program has focused on five primary research areas: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Advanced Generation, Natural Gas Infrastructure Safety and Integrity, Energy-Related Environmental Research, and Natural Gas-Related Transportation. These are occasionally supplemented with additional research areas (e.g. Strategic Planning Research). Each March, the CEC files an annual proposal for the investment of up to $24 million in technologies and strategies to improve California's natural gas system. Following submission of the proposals, the CPUC issues a resolution reviewing, approving, and/or modifying these proposals. Table 3 provides recent Natural Gas Research and Development Proposed Program Plans and the CPUC's corresponding resolutions.
Table 3. Recent Natural Gas R&D Plans and Resolutions
For more information about the Natural Gas R&D program, visit:
California Energy Systems for the 21st Century (CES-21)
- CES-21 Application A.11-07-008
- D.12-12-031 established the CES-21 program by approving A.11-07-008
- D.14-03-029 modified D.12-12-031 to comply with Senate Bill 96 (SEC. 44) and capped funding for CES-21 at $35 million
California Energy Systems for the 21st century (CES-21) was a first-of-its-kind effort to use the power of supercomputing to improve the cybersecurity of our electric system and integrate emerging renewable technologies into the grid. The CPUC and California's three largest electric investor-owned utilities are collaborating with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to improve and expand energy systems to meet 21st century needs.
CES-21 had a budget of $35 million for the period 2014-2019 and was comprised of two projects: Cybersecurity and Grid Integration. The Cybersecurity project worked to develop a modeling/simulation platform to simulate cybersecurity threat and response scenarios. Additionally, this project used a physical test bed to evaluate threats on actual substation equipment. The Grid Integration project assessed whether the utilities’ planning assumptions and reliability metrics were applicable under future conditions of increased renewable generation. This was done by modeling the grid under thousands of permutations of market demand, weather conditions, and infrastructure investment to simulate the impact of increased renewable penetration and market conditions on the accuracy of reliability and capacity metrics. The Grid Integration project was successfully completed in November 2017 and the Cybersecurity project was completed in October 2019.
For more information about CES-21, please visit the following links:
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's CES-21 Page
- Flexibility Metrics Final Report
- Recent annual reports:
- Final Report (including 2019 Annual Report) and Final Financials
For questions regarding energy research, development, and deployment programs, please contact senior analyst Fredric Beck (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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