The California Energy Commission on July 11 awarded $1.1 million for energy research projects, including a variety impacting renewable energy and energy efficiency. Funds for the 10 projects come from the Commission's Public Interest Research Project program. Commissioners approved $300,000 to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego in order to better understand differences in regional climate model projections for California and how they impact hydropower generation forecasting.
The remaining nine projects are from PIER's Energy Innovations Small Grant program. The program provides money to small businesses, non-profits, individuals, and academic institutions to conduct research establishing the feasibility of new, innovative energy concepts. These grants are capped at $95,000. Among the projects is a project dealing with small soluble organic molecules designed to increase the lifetime and reliability of photovoltaics, and a study of enhanced cooling towers for cooling buildings. See the California Energy Commission press release .