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PG&E’s Earley Touts “Grid of Things” Renewable

Looming, huge impact of climate change policies on utilities.

Pacific Gas & Electric’s Tony Earley, one of the leading U.S. utility executives to attend the recent global climate change talks in Paris, has called on electric companies to spur deployment of rooftop solar and America’s embrace of electric vehicles.

“Not only can utilities deliver increasingly clean energy to customers, we can enable customers to pursue their own low-carbon options as well,” Earley said in a prepared statement.

“The grid of the future will be a Grid of Things that integrates all of the new energy technologies and creates exponentially more value for everyone,” he said.

COP21 in Paris

The Edison Electric Institute, which represents U.S. investor-owned utilities, did not put out a statement about the recently concluded landmark Paris conference attended by 40,000 people and negotiators from 195 nations, an EEI spokeswoman said. The EEI website has an earlier statement. published in Medium, tied to the Paris event.

Earley said that the message emerging from the Paris gathering for the business sector is clear. Government officials around the world want to move towards a low-carbon economy, he said.

The New York Times this week ran an article titled, “Key to Success of Climate Pact Will Be Its Signals to Global Markets” outlining the epochal global economic transformation ahead.

"Such a transition would fundamentally transform the energy system that has powered the global economy since the Industrial Revolution,” the Times reported.

“Fossil fuels, including coal, oil and gas, now make up about 80 percent of the world’s energy mix. The combined stock value of the world’s coal, oil and gas companies is about $5 trillion. By comparison, stocks related to renewable energy are valued at about $300 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research firm,” the Times article said.

California hopes to point the way towards this transition, Earley said.

“California’s leadership will continue to offer valuable lessons," he said. "California and its utilities have shown that, working together, it’s possible to invest in clean energy while growing the economy at the same time — a story PG&E was proud to highlight through our participation at various events surrounding the Paris talks,” Earley said.

The Energy Times will convene a landmark conference in San Francisco April 5-6, “The California Renewables Rush,” that will explore the state’s massive commitment to renewable energy, the policy and technological challenges ahead and the economic impact of the greening of California’s electricity sector.




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