Energy Commission Gets Unprecedented Boost in Funding

By Published On: May 19, 2021

The California Energy Commission will see a 140% increase in its budget, from some $996 million to $2.4 billion, if lawmakers sign off on the Governor’s May budget revisions. Adding in federal funds and reimbursements, the agency could receive even more.

The big expenditure items are for light- to heavy-duty zero emission infrastructure. The increase also includes advancing in-state manufacturing of ZEVs. The total proposed budget for these three areas is $1.2 billion. Transportation is the state’s largest source of greenhouse gases.

The funding breaks down as follows:

Heavy-Duty ZEV infrastructure is posed to get $415 million over the next three fiscal years to support the deployment of electric trucks and other large vehicles. It’s to complement the Air Resources Board’s investments to deploy 1,150 zero-emission drayage trucks, 1,000 zero-emission school buses, and 1,000 transit buses on California roads. Traditional drayage is notoriously polluting.

“Near-term investments such as these will build confidence in the ZEV market transition and accelerate progress on air quality and climate goals,” Sandy Louey, Commission spokesperson, said in an email.

Another $500 million is proposed to ensure car electric charger and hydrogen stations set for 2025 are met. It is also to increase medium- and heavy-duty vehicle zero emission stations. A robust number of chargers and hydrogen stations are needed to support alternative vehicle growth.

Zero emission vehicle manufacturing is allocated $250 million in grants the next two fiscal years. The funding aims also to create good jobs.

Last year, electric and other zero emission cars were California’s largest export.

Offshore wind energy planning would get $13.2 million to support a variety of interagency work. That includes:

  • Stakeholder and tribal outreach, including ports and commercial fishers.
  • Technical assessments of North Coast transmission opportunities.
  • Engineering and design grants for long-duration storage coupled with offshore wind on the North Coast.
  • Matching grant funds to the Humboldt Bay Harbor to improve the port to support offshore wind energy deployment.

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