Transforming the Grid: An Introduction to California's Electric System in the 21st Century

July 17, 2018

California's energy system is undergoing a radical transformation driven by disruptive technologies, consumer preferences, and aggressive clean energy policies. The old paradigm of central suppliers serving passive customers is giving way to a more decentralized and digitized system, with modular and smart technologies generating and controlling energy with greater efficiency and higher value. An increasingly clean power system is also key to decarbonizing other parts of the economy, including transportation — the largest source of statewide emissions — and heat.

Transforming the Grid: An Introduction to California’s Electric System in the 21st Century, which is being released with A Regional Power Market for the West: Risks and Benefits, explains how the state’s power system and grid work, lays out environmental and social issues, and provides visions of the future as the grid evolves in concert with economic and environmental trends.

These two reports kick off a series of five briefs examining California's electric grid at a pivotal time in history.