California drives technology advancement through visionary policy goals that are supported with billions of dollars in public investments. This rare combination of policy commitment and investment distinguishes California from other entities that may also have ambitious goals but lack either the resources or the commitment needed to drive markets and industries.
As the 5th largest economy in the world, California has enormous influence in virtually every market. With more than 12% of the nation’s population, California’s tremendous buying power assures that the State’sb market leading resource and environmental policies will bring a wide range of entities to meet the demand for new products and services.
Ambitious clean energy goals supported by the State’s substantial buying power established the national (and international) solar photovoltaic (PV) markets which, prior to the 2007 California Solar Initiative, had been faltering.
The above chart shows the significant decrease of solar PV costs (the dark blue and green lines) driven in large part by California’s $3.3 billion commitment to the California Solar Initiative and the New Solar Homes Partnership.
Similarly, California’s call for battery energy storage to support its growing portfolio of solar and wind resources under its aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard is driving the global energy storage market. California also accounts for nearly 50% of the national market for plug-in electric vehicles.
Attesting to California’s market leadership is the fact that suppliers—along all segments of these supply chains—rush to provide the new products and services needed to meet California’s new standards. Many suppliers seek market leadership by being among the first to offer above-code fixtures and appliances that exceed California’s codes and standards.
Many suppliers had 1.5 to 1.8 gpm showerheads available for purchase long before the Title 20 effective date of July 1, 2018. Some, anticipating niche markets for ultra-committed customers, are marketing showerheads that can be dialed down to even lower flows – some as low as 0.5 gpm.
California doesn’t disappoint, with billions of dollars made available every year to accelerate research, development, and commercialization of products and technologies that help the State build a clean and resilient future.
California has been driving technology innovation for decades through its forward-thinking energy and environmental policies and aggressive codes and standards. Most recently:
- On January 1, 2018, California’s new Title 20 Appliance Efficiency regulations stipulating performance requirements for lighting became effective. The new regulation (adopted in January 2016) created “first-in-the-nation energy standards for the next generation of light bulbs.” Energy Commission staff estimated electric savings from these new standards of 3,000 GWh per year at full turnover of existing lightbulb inventories, projected to occur by 2029. This new regulation is also estimated to avoid 10.3 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents between 2017 and 2029.
- On May 9, 2018, the Energy Commission adopted building standards that will require, among other things, that all new homes built on or after January 1, 2020 have solar PV systems.
- Effective July 1, 2018, showerheads sold in California cannot exceed 1.8 gpm.
- On September 10, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 100 – California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program: emissions of greenhouse gases. This new law establishes a goal of 100% carbon-free, clean electricity by 2045. It also requires that 60% of electricity be powered from renewable sources by 2030, up from the previous 50% goal.