Proposals are due March 20 in the first general solicitation of the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) programme of the California Energy Commission (CEC). The programme makes available $68.1 million yearly for research over the next four years -- the expected period of transition to the state's competitive electricity market -- for renewables, for environmentally preferred advanced generation and for environmental research. The PIER programme, launched as part of the restructuring process, is to fund public interest research, development or demonstration that would not be adequately funded under a competitive or regulated market. The request for proposals was available on February 13 from the CEC. A second solicitation will be made later this year but, unlike this one, it will not be for renewables.