Center to position California as the driving force in developing and commercializing clean energy technologies
June 23, 2005 - San Francisco, CA - The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a $30 million public benefit investment fund created as part of the Pacific Gas and Electric bankruptcy settlement, today announced that it intends to award a one million dollar grant to establish and maintain the world’s leading university center on energy efficiency. The grant will be awarded to a Northern California university which aspires to international leadership in the development of energy efficiency technologies and the removal of barriers to their rapid commercialization.
“Increasing energy efficiency is the single most important step California can take to minimize the long-term cost of reliable energy services,” said Michael R. Peevey, chairman of CalCEF and president of the California Public Utilities Commission. “Establishing a university center on energy efficiency is a natural way to meet the state’s goals by tapping into a wealth of academic expertise in developing and bringing innovative technologies to market.”
By creating a university-based center for energy efficiency, CalCEF will bring together its diverse Board of Directors, partnerships with leading venture capital firms, and academic leaders from multiple disciplines to advance innovation and accelerate the commercialization of energy efficient products, services and practices. The center will also reinforce California’s standing as a national and international leader in energy efficiency, while seeding the state’s marketplace with promising new products and services that provide its citizens with a clean environment and economic benefits.
Energy efficiency – getting more services out of less energy - helps protect California’s environment and deliver economic benefits to the state’s businesses and citizens. Reducing energy use decreases the amount of energy generated at power plants, which minimizes greenhouse gas emissions and improves the quality of California’s air. In addition, energy efficiency helps the economy by saving consumers and businesses millions of dollars in energy costs – both directly, by reducing the amount of energy purchased, and indirectly, by reducing the demand for (and hence the price of) scarce fossil fuels.
According to the California Energy Action Plan, energy efficiency is the state’s highest priority resource. “Given the clear relationship between energy use and climate change, it is imperative for California’s policy makers, academics and business leaders to make energy efficiency a top priority,” said Arthur Rosenfeld, PhD, a member of the California Energy Commission and a CalCEF Board member.
“Dollar for dollar, conservation is the most cost efficient energy investment we can make,” said Lisa Bicker, President of CalCEF. “The creation of this center is an important step in moving us toward a clean energy economy.”
CalCEF will award the one million dollar grant to a Northern California university that demonstrates the vision, resources and leadership to be the world’s leader in developing and bringing to market energy efficient technologies, including a multi-year plan for prioritizing results, launching and staffing the center, and further fund-raising. The grant will be awarded in two installments: $500,000 initially upon the creation of the center and $500,000 twelve months later upon achievement of agreed-upon milestones. Requests for proposal must be received no later than December 15, 2005. For more information about the request for proposal process, please visit www.calcef.org/about.htm.