. "3 Evaluation of the Energy Efficiency Programs." Energy Research at DOE: Was It Worth It? Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Research 1978 to 2000. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2001.
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Energy Research at DOE was it Worth it?: Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Research 1978 to 2000
and methodology should be part of DOE’s ongoing and new programs, and adequate funding should be provided for data and analysis. This ongoing planning and evaluation analysis cannot substitute for the portfolio analysis and roadmapping exercises9 instituted over the past 2 years at DOE, but it provides an important supplement to that analysis.
Achieving R&D Portfolio Balance
In reviewing the array of benefits matrices constructed for this assessment, the committee observed that a sense of urgency about deployment and perhaps the availability of near-term, high-payoff opportunities over the past decade have caused directed exploratory research in energy efficiency to be underemphasized. The committee recommends that this kind of research receive more emphasis as the energy efficiency R&D portfolio is shaped in future years. Indeed, balance across all “regions” of the benefits matrix should be a high-priority goal, with elements of the program designed to respond to and yield benefits under a wide variety of future market conditions. Concepts and technologies with longer time horizons, for example, might have enormous payoffs under various possible future economic and environmental scenarios, and efforts to develop such concepts and technologies deserve a more prominent place in the DOE portfolio. To achieve balance in the portfolio, a broad range of considerations should be addressed, including the following:
Coordination of technology development with policy mechanisms, such as codes and standards, in scenarios of deployment (as in the very successful refrigerator program, which advances with a careful balance between efficiency standards and technology development);
The role of industry and government (at all levels) consortia in technology development (as, for example, in the case of PNGV);
The impact of economic globalization on energy and technology markets (as, for example, when such globalization affects the location and relative market strength of high-efficiency lighting technology suppliers around the world);
Provision of enabling tools to help facilitate market penetration of new energy efficiency technologies (as, for example, in the case of the development of the DOE-2 family of computer design and analysis tools); and
Integration of energy efficiency technology development with other driving forces such as health, safety, and productivity (as, for example, in the cases of IAQI&V, PNGV, and IOF).
Promoting the Adoption of Technology
Market adoption of technology should be an explicitly identified and central goal in DOE’s energy efficiency policies and programs. This assessment revealed many examples of effective programs and projects with a focus on adoption by the market, but many of these program efforts appear to be formulated and executed ad hoc rather than in a coordinated manner across the portfolio. If a policy priority is established for promoting the adoption of new energy efficiency technologies, the committee recommends that additional and well-coordinated emphasis in this area be effected across the energy efficiency portfolio.
For example, in energy efficiency for buildings, coordination with regulatory and policy mechanisms has proved very effective in improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and appliances. Similarly, in energy efficiency for industry, sponsorship of key demonstration efforts has been very effective.
Such efforts could yield benefits far greater than the costs of implementing them. Industry and government consortia could play a key role, as they did in the PNGV program, which so far shows great promise. Other interagency government programs, such as that with the Environmental Protection Agency, and government implementation programs, such as that of the Federal Energy Management Program, could be developed much further.