. "2 Program-Level Evaluations." Decreasing Energy Intensity in Manufacturing: Assessing the Strategies and Future Directions of the Industrial Technologies Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2005.
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Decreasing Energy Intensity in Manufacturing: Assessing the Strategies and Future Directions of the Industrial Technologies Program
corporate strategy involves strategic, multiyear, and annual operating plans; footprint and bandwidth analytical studies; project reports; GPRA and Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) energy, environmental, and financial metrics and impacts tracking; and headquarters and field information management systems. The committee notes that there appears to be considerable focus on systematic and aligned planning, analysis, decision-making, and project management processes. The data are beginning to show significant cumulative energy and cost savings.
The way that the ITP program is managed has changed as a result of the EERE and ITP reorganizations. ITP program managers stated in their presentations to the committee that the ITP is organizationally now more science-and-technology-based than industry-based; that the portfolio is managed by analysis rather than by the industry roadmaps alone; that there are fewer but larger projects; that there are strategic, multiyear, and annual operating plans with milestones rather than industry roadmap plans alone; that project management has been moved from headquarters to the field offices; that the regional offices will now be involved in outreach; that there is more coordination and collaboration with other EERE efforts; that travel will be used to accomplish the mission rather than just to attend events; and that the staff has been reduced by more than half. The committee observes that a high energy level and momentum exist within the ITP staff for implementing these changes and improving the ITP. The committee notes that it appears as if most of the program management changes (with the possible exception of travel restrictions) should enhance the ITP’s transparency and effectiveness. However, again to the extent possible, the committee recommends that these new management practices be carefully measured and monitored to assure continual improvement in fact.
Additional Challenges and Opportunities
Four additional challenges and opportunities (in addition to the 21st century workforce issue discussed previously) were identified by the ITP as having a potential influence on the relationship between industry and the Industrial Technologies Program and the robustness of the ITP strategy. These were (1) positive impact manufacturing, (2) multiscenario planning analysis, (3) environmental regulation and its impact on investment, and (4) industrial financing of energy efficiency investments.
Positive impact manufacturing goals include U.S. leadership in manufacturing technology, a positive public image of manufacturing, and the recognition among the public and policy makers that manufacturing can meet societal goals. Elements affected by positive impact manufacturing include economic security, education, technology growth, resource conservation, energy, and the environment. The current manufacturing situation was described by the ITP program managers in their presentations to the committee as being characterized by high foreign competition, high capital equipment costs, low access to cash, high technology risk, low stock turnover, low R&D investment, environmental externalities with an uncertain future, high natural gas prices, climate change, antiglobalization, inflation, substitute materials, and war. Barriers to achieving positive impact manufacturing were taken from previously identified barriers in other parts of the ITP management plan—the barriers include environmental regulations, technical and investment risk inhibiting the deployment of energy-efficient industrial technology, and a scarcity of technically skilled production workers—as were previously identified pathways to address these barriers. ITP program managers suggested that scenario planning would be an appropriate technique to address a changing manufacturing situation.
The previous ITP Strategic Plan was based on one business-as-usual scenario and contained a portfolio of strategies and projects geared to that scenario. The ITP now recognizes that multiscenario planning can enhance the understanding of important uncertainties, integrate alternative perspectives into planning, and result in greater resilience of planning decisions in the face of surprises. To this end, the ITP is now evaluating whether the overall goal (25 percent reduction in energy intensity in energy-intensive industries) is feasible under any potential scenario and whether this goal could be more aggressive. The ITP has also identified factors that could affect the achievement of this goal, including a lack of qualified technical employees, a lack of awareness of energy-saving opportunities, narrow profit margins, high investment costs, and increased foreign competition. The remaining steps of the