Risk Modeling and Cognitive Science Characterization of Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in California Electricity Sector

Analysis of climate-change induced risks management and risk perception of the different stakeholders to evaluate the barriers to climate change adaptation in the electric power sector.

The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley Campus


Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

This project concluded in March 2019 and an initial project report was completed. A final report has not yet been provided despite multiple attempts to contact UC Berkeley's project manager. CEC is exploring options to resolve this issue.

The Issue

Adaptation to climate change is critical to ensure a robust electricity system for California. However, little is known regarding system-wide effectiveness of current electricity sector approaches to managing climate change-related risks. Similarly, little is known regarding barriers faced by electricity sector stakeholders' implementation of adaptation measures. This research develops a framework for systematically identifying barriers to climate adaptation and develops a metric to evaluate the performance of California's electricity sector in terms of adaptation to climate change.

Project Innovation

Researchers developed a framework for assessing climate change risk and adaptation practices in the electricity sector, identifying perceived barriers to execution of resilience strategies, and delineating practices that are currently being implemented in the electricity sector. These activities form a basis for developing a dynamic model for long-term resilience planning that can identify optimal strategies to manage climate risks. The analysis also considers how independently initiated adaptation efforts perform relative to a system-wide strategy, with a focus on electricity sector vulnerabilities.

Project Benefits

Researchers developed methods to account for risks, plan for resulting adaptation, and account for the barriers to adaptation. The results of research are intended to improve on the framing of climate-related policies under uncertainty and to examine all aspects of the adaptation planning process: key decision-makers, the stages of decision processes, and the institutional contexts where the decision-makers develop the decision processes. The results can inform technology choice investment and deployment to the extent that those choices are made with consideration of climate risks.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

The project investigated current institutional arrangements and regulations to developing climate change adaptation plans and also looked into rate-payer perceptions of such adaptation plans and the roles different stakeholders play in the process. In addition, the project addressed decision support models to facilitate adaptation development and implementation. This research benefits California rate-payers by identifying operational or informational barriers to adopting climate change adaptation plans and for proposing a framework to improve data collection and communications in the face of uncertainty from climate change.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Daniel Kammen



The Regents of the University of California, Merced


Contact the Team