The commission shall develop and coordinate a program of research and development in energy supply, consumption, and conservation and the technology of siting facilities and shall give priority to those forms of research and development which are of particular importance to the state, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(a) Methods of energy conservation specified in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 25400).
(b) Increased energy use efficiencies of existing thermal electric and hydroelectric powerplants and increased energy efficiencies in designs of thermal electric and hydroelectric powerplants.
(c) Expansion and accelerated development of alternative sources of energy, including geothermal and solar resources, including, but not limited to, participation in large-scale demonstrations of alternative energy systems sited in California in cooperation with federal agencies, regional compacts, other state governments, and other participants. For purposes of this subdivision, “participation” shall be defined as any of the following: (1)direct interest in a project, (2)research and development to insure acceptable resolution of environment and other impacts of alternative energy systems, (3)research and development to improve siting and permitting methodology for alternative energy systems, (4)experiments utilizing the alternative energy systems, and (5)research and development of appropriate methods to insure the widespread utilization of economically useful alternative energy systems. Large-scale demonstrations of alternative energy systems are exemplified by the 100KWe to 100MWe range demonstrations of solar, wind, and geothermal systems contemplated by federal agencies, regional compacts, other state governments, and other participants.
(d) Improved methods of construction, design, and operation of facilities to protect against seismic hazards.
(e) Improved methods of energy-demand forecasting.
(f) To accomplish the purposes of subdivision (c), an amount not more than one-half of the total state funds appropriated for the solar energy research and development program as proposed in the budget prepared pursuant to Section 25604 shall be allocated for large-scale demonstration of alternative energy systems.