The Power of Green Alliances

Posted: 5/20/2009 by Norma Watenpaugh

Attended an ASAP Green breakfast this morning and it was certainly eye opening even if the coffee arrived late.

Hal LaFlash, Dir Emerging Clean Technology Policyfrom PG&E -that's Pacific Gas and Electric for the non-Californians - spoke on the many alliances that PG&E has been cultivating in the interest of providing sustainable energy. While one is not used to thinking of utilities in terms of innovation, social responsibility, or even collaboration, PG&E certainly differentiates itself from its peers.


One reason came to light during the discussion. The State of California has decoupledenergy sales from earnings. Other utilities are trapped in a conundrum that in order to earn more, they need to sell more energy. The net is there is no incentive to encourage consumers to conserve energy or to explore external, alternate sources of energy.

The decoupling enables PG&E to operate in a model where there are incentives for efficiency and to encourage alternative sources of energy to supply to the grid.Alignment of goals and core values was described as a critical success factor for PG&E alliances. Their CEO is deeply commited to environmental responisbility. The company has adopted a Pryamid of Values which includes environmental responsibility. The resut is an amazing array of partnerships, both formal and informal to stimulate innnovation in energy.

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