CEC Energy Innovations ’99 Conference

CEC Energy Innovations ’99 Conference
October 25-27, 1999, San Diego

The agenda alone fills 4 pages (see UFTO Note 24 October 99), so this note will cover some general themes and highlights. The original conference brochure is available online in pdf format, and Powerpoint presentations from the conference will be made available there in the near future: http://www.energy.ca.gov/research/PIER/EI99

I will be glad to provide additional contacts and information on any area of partcu lar interest.

Our last major coverage of PIER appears in:
UFTO Note, 23 Nov 1998, “CURC Annual Conf. 11/98”
http://www.ufto.com/clients-only/uftonoteslist.html {password required}


— Keynotes and Guest Speakers

– State Senator Debra Bowen (keynote) — California is still learning about life under restructuring. Concerns that G&T investment is insufficient. Legislative push for expedited siting, but supply side not the only answer–demand side measures cheaper and faster. Consumers get no price signal about time of use – need to “de-insulate” them from real costs.

– State Assemblyman Roderick Wright (keynote) — from poorest district in California. Dubious about restructuring bill (AB1890), as it addressed none of the root causes of high energy prices–though that was the primary motive in the first place. If taxpayer money is used for R&D or other energy programs, he needs to balance that against other needs, and be assured that his constituents actually benefit.

– Bill Reichert (luncheon speaker) .. from garage.com, a prominent Silicon Valley incubator of startups .. presented some hard truths about venture capital and technology business.

– Karl Rabago (banquet speaker), now with the Rocky Mountain Institute, recounted the message contained in Amory Lovin’s new book “Natural Capitalism”, which sees the mainstreaming of sustainability, eco-commerce, waste elimination, etc. as having a historical significance comparable to the Industrial Revolution.


— Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program

“The Nation’s Most Comprehensive Ratepayer-funded Public Interest Energy Research Program” is gradually maturing, as the transition projects are wrapping up (close-out funding of projects that IOU’s had in place prior to restructuring), and the various programs establish their goals and directions.

Provides funding to public and private entities for research, development and demonstration activities that advance science and technology not adequately provided for by competitive or deregulated markets. Funding is available for environmentally preferred advanced generation, renewables, end-use efficiency, environmental research and strategic research.

PIER Program Manager:
Ron Kukulka, 916-654-4185, rkukulka@energy.state.ca.us

PIER is organized into 6 Areas, each with a designated manager.

– Renewables
George Simons, 916-654-4659, gsimons@energy.state.ca.us

– Environmentally-Preferred Advanced Generation (EPAG)
Mike Batham, 916-654-4548, mbatham@energy.state.ca.us

– Residential and Commercial Buildings
Nancy Jenkins, 916-654-4739, njenkins@energy.state.ca.us

– Industrial / Agricultural / Water
Ben Mehta, 916-654-4044, bmehta@energy.state.ca.us

– Energy-Related Environmental
Kelly Birkinshaw, 916-654-4542, kbirkins@energy.state.ca.us

– Strategic Science and Technology
Tom Tanton, 916-654-4930, ttanton@energy.state.ca.us

Each program briefly presented its 1999/2000 Funding Proposal, based on their respective Issues, Mission and Objectives, and indicated amounts going to sole source or collaboratives/interagency, to competitve RFPs, and to memberships (e.g. EPRI, GRI, etc.) In each area, with total budgets ranging from $9 to $15 Million, some contracts are already approved, some are in negotiations, and some have not yet been initiated.
(I have prepared Word docs with the details that were presented, adapted from files provided to me by PIER. They will be posted on the UFTO website. Let me know if you want them in the meantime.)

Energy Innovations Small Grant Program

This program provides grants of up to $75,000 to small businesses, academics, small non-profit organizations and individuals to prove the feasibility of research and development concepts relating to PIER objectives. It operates like the federal SBIR programs, but with a considerably faster solicitation and award cycle.

Philip Misemer, 916-654-4552 pmisemer@energy.state.ca.us

– Synergy with other Programs
Calif Board for Energy Effic oversees $280M/year
[buydown of renewables implementation]
Calif Utility Research Council (future role is uncertain)
Calif PUC – Doesn’t have a role, and doing an excellent job at not
doing anything about R&D — Utilities haven’t requested in rates.


Transferable Knowledge from Other Forums (Tuesday)

– Lessons Learned in NREL Industry Growth Forums
Lawrence (Marty) Murphy, NREL,
303-275-3050 lawrence_murphy@nrel.gov
NREL periodical ly sponsors Industry Growth Forums, intended to help aspiring, start-up, or expanding renewable energy businesses. The next Forum will be held in early year 2000, in the Seattle area, and highlights will be provided here as details are defined. For more details on Forums as well as the many valuable lessons learned download the document, “NREL Industry Growth Forums Lessons Learned” June 1999, NREL/MP-720-25870 (PDF 369 KB).

Also see:

– Where We Are and Where We’re Going
Janet Joseph, NYSERDA
518-862-1090 jj2@nyserda.org
Summarized the program, as the only other “public benefit” state level R&D program besides PIER.

– Gaining Market Acceptance of Innovative Technologies
Keith Davidson, Onsite Sycom Energy Corp.
760-710-1712 kdavidson@onsitesycom.com
A good overviewof “innovation” as the term applies to distributed generation and combined heat & power (CHP), with a review of Tecogen’s experience in the early ’80s.

– Building Bridges Connecting Research Results to Consumer Benefits

Mohawk Research Corp.
Marsha Rorke, 301-762-3171, mohawkresearch@email.msn.com
Sam Westbrook, 206-780-8269, kands@nwlink.com

Summarized in 20 minutes the contents of a 3-4 day workshop that Mohawk has given over 50 times to personnel at national labs and elsewhere who want to pursue commercialization of lab technology. Key points include recognition that various stages of a development or company require very different skill sets and kinds of people, and the entrepreneur should be clear on when he plans to pass the reins to others. Also, a “commercialization plan”, focused on what it is that you are going to make and sell, is different from the business plan, which comes later and says how you’re going to do it.

The workshop textbook is: “From Invention To Innovation,” 1999, DOE/GO-10099-810. For a copy, email Sally_Evans@nrel.gov (remember to include your mailing address.) Or call 202-586-1478 to receive a free copy as well as information on DOE’s Inventions and Innovations Programs.
An earlier (full text) version is available at:

Ken Gudger, Global Energy Partners
Jerome Foster, Pentech Energy Solutions
Jeff Colborn, Metallic Power, Inc.

Leadersof three startups, each at a different stage, spoke about their experiences and how they went about developing and pursuing their business plans. Some memorable phrases:
“Get a customer before you quit your day job.”
“Be sure the customer understands (what you’re selling), trusts
that you can deliver, and has the will to do his part.”
“As soon as you take a dollar from anybody, you’re working for them
[so don’t be so hung up about control].”
“Be honest about yourself, and what role is appropriate for you.”


On the second day, pane l sessions were held in parallel for each of the PIER subject areas, so one had to choose which ones to go to. Many of the presentations will be put up on the PIER website in due course.

Morning — Renewables; EPAG; and Buildings
Afternoon — Food/Ag/Ind; Strategic; and Environment

Most of the panel presentations were reviews of completed or ongoing PIER-funded projects, or other related programs. There was also a poster exhibition with two dozen displays on other PIER sponsored work.

For details on all projects:
1998 Annual Report – PIER Program, P500-99-004, March 1999
(hardcopy also available)


Panel I – Renewable Energy Technology

I.A. Making Renewables Cost-Competitive
Larry Berg, Larry Berg & Associates
Steve Gatto, BCI

I.B. Renewables as Distributed Generators
Merwin Brown, NREL
Thomas Hoff, Clean Power Research
Henry Zaininger, Zaininger Engineering

I.C. Non-energy Benefits of Renewables
Nancy Rader, Nancy Rader Renewable Energy Consulting
Dan Shugar, PowerLight Corp
Loyd Forest, TSS Consulting


Panel II – EPAG for Distributed Generation (DG)

II.A. Energy Providers: Planning to Use EPAG in DG Applications?
Al Figueroa, San Diego Gas & Elec and CURC
Roland Risser, PG&E
David Berokoff, SoCalGas
Mike Burke, NewEnergy

II.B. What are the Future Product RD&D Needs for EPAG Mfgs.
George Wiltsee,* Capstone Turbine
Mark Skowronski, Allied Signal
Ron Wolk, Wolk Integrated Technical Services
Jim Schlatter, Catalytica

II.C. What are the Current and Planned R&D Programs in DG?
Andy Abele, S. Coast Air Qual Mgt District
Scott Samuelsen, National Fuel Cell Research Center, UC Irvine
Daniel Rastler,* EPRI
William Liss, GRI
Abbie Layne, U.S. DOE
[Adv Turb.; Indust Technol, etc. – Major workshop Nov.8-10]


Panel III – Building End-Use Energy Efficiency

III.A. Technologies and Strategies for Buildings in Hot Inland Climates
Lance Elberling, PG&E
Randy Folts, Pulte Homes Corp
Malcolm Lewis, Constructive Technologies Group, Inc.

III.B. Drivers for Energy Efficiency
Cliff Federspiel, Center for the Built Environment, UC Berkeley
Doug Mahone, The Heschong Mahone Group
[Daylighting Improves Productivity]
Gregory Thomas, Gregory Thomas and Associates

III.C. How Energy Efficiency Can Affect Affordability and Property Value
Eric Haftner, ELH Development
[Comparative investment qualities of energy efficiency measures]
Rob Hammon, ComfortWise
Greg Watson, ICF Consulting
[Homeowners and Energy Efficiency: Rational?]


Panel IV – Food/Agriculture/Industrial/Water Energy Efficiency

IV.A. Water: Issue of the New Millennium
Keith Carns, EPRI
Jeff DeZeller, Metropolitan Water District
Lory Larson, SoCalEdison
Greg Leslie, Orange County Water District

IV.B. Innovations in Food and AgriculturalProduction Systems
Ken Solomon, CalPoly San Luis Obispo Univ
Alan Pryor, SoilZONE Inc.
Dee Gram, R and E Enterprises
Sharon Shoemaker, Calif Inst Food & Agric Research (CIFAR), UCDavis


Panel V – Strategic Research

V.A. Feet Firmly Planted on the Ground – Near Term Benefits
Joseph Eto, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Art Iverson, Spinel Power Technology
William “Woody” Savage, PG&E
V.B. Eyes on the Stars – Incorporating the Long View
Alexander Glass, Executive Director, BARTA
Dave Hawkins, Cal ISO
Dave Lema, Special Advisor to the Governor
Gail McCarthy, EPRI


Panel VI – Energy-Related Environmental Research

VI.A. Solutions to Current/Expected Environmental Issues
Sonja Mahini, EPRI
Vince Mirabella, SoCalEdison
Don Rose, Sempra Energy
VI.B. A New Perspective: New Approaches to Issue Resolution
James Cole, Univ of Calif President’s Office
Norman Miller, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Kelly Birkinshaw, CEC

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