Energy Seminar: Building a Climate-Resilient Energy Network for CA - Carla J. Peterman, PG&E
As California continues to experience the impacts of climate change, utilities are taking action to build a more climate-resilient energy network. Utilities in California face an increasing amount of risk due to extreme weather events driven by climate change including heat waves, more frequent and extreme storms and wildfires, drought, subsidence, and rising sea levels.
PG&E is the largest electric and gas utility in the nation, serving 16 million customers. Drought effects 100% of the PG&E service territory and the region is experiencing higher temperatures, increased wildfire risk, and a longer wildfire season. In less than a decade, the percentage of PG&E’s service area in a High Fire Threat District grew from 15 percent to over 50 percent. Today, nearly one-third of the electric lines that serve PG&E’s customers are now in High Fire-Threat Districts.
Adapting to the changing risks involves understanding the impacts of climate change on businesses, customers, and communities. Carla Peterman, PG&E’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, will share PG&E’s efforts to assess system-wide climate vulnerability, address climate risks, and engage stakeholders and communities in climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.
Carla J. Peterman is Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for PG&E Corporation. Peterman has spent her career focused on California’s energy policy and regulatory landscape. At PG&E, she oversees the company’s regulatory, legislative, sustainability, and charitable strategies.
Prior to joining PG&E in 2021, Peterman served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs at Southern California Edison. Before that she served a six-year term as a Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). At the CPUC Peterman led the adoption of the first utility energy storage mandate in the country, adoption of utility investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the adoption of utility energy efficiency goals and business plans, and the implementation of California's Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Before her CPUC appointment, Peterman served on the California Energy Commission. She also is a former board member of The Utility Reform Network, an organization that represents consumers before the CPUC and California Legislature. In 2019, Governor Newsom appointed her to chair the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery. She currently serves on the external advisory board for Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy and Homeland Security Portfolio, and as a member of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco Economic Advisory Council.
Peterman holds a BA from Howard University, a PhD in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and MS and MBA degrees from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.