California is endowed with a wealth of renewable resources that can meet a variety of energy demands, from baseload to peaking power, according to the California Energy Commission. \u201cThe different renewable resources fit together,\u201d said Gerry Braun, Energy Commission renewables lead, during a July 31 CEC workshop. The commission focused on the role of emerging renewable technologies as the state strives to meet and surpass its 20 percent mandate. Geothermal and biomass-fueled power provide baseload power, wind energy meets intermediate needs and \u201csolar perfectly matches our peaks in California,\u201d Braun added. Energy storage--including pumped storage and air compressors--is expected to enhance alternative supplies by ensuring grid reliability as higher levels of renewable flow into the grid. Other storage technologies, including the fly wheel and grid-to-vehicle, would further bolster the grid if and when they attain commercial viability. Demand response and \u201csmart grid\u201d technologies are expected to further enhance power flows. Getting customers to shift energy uses from times of high uses to times of low demand can be used in place of spinning reserves, according to the Energy Commission. Just what constitutes a \u201csmart grid\u201d is not established but it generally refers to more efficient and flexible transmission infrastructure--parts of which are under development. The same day as the workshop, the California Public Utilities approved three renewable contracts signed by the private utilities. Pacific Gas & Electric\u2019s 10-year agreement for an online 26 MW biomass plant got the green light. Also approved was a Southern California Edison deal for 30 MW of geothermal power, which could be expanded to 100 MW, with Ormat. The project is predicted to come online in 2012. The third agreement was a 20-year contract for 40 MW of geothermal power from Imperial County between San Diego Gas & Electric and Esmeralda. The \u201cenergy prices for all contracts are at or below the CPUC\u2019s market pricing benchmark and are reasonable,\u201d the commission stated July 31. The contract prices are considered confidential, and finding out the market referent benchmark price is no easy task.