their anticipated benefits. The three panels based their separate reports on information gleaned from these meetings, documents supplied by DOE, and the panel’s own knowledge of the respective subject matters. The complete panel reports can be found in Appendixes F, G, and H, along with biographies of the panel members.

The following sections summarize the three panel reports. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the key points gleaned from the panels’ experience in applying the methodology.


Objectives of the Study

The Panel on Benefits of Advanced Lighting R&D was convened to test the committee’s methodology for estimating benefits that might be provided by current R&D programs. The panel reviewed the lighting program at DOE as part of the test, but the results presented here are not a program evaluation. Rather, they are focused on the methodology. The panel was drawn from industry (conventional and solid state lighting), academia, state government, and the energy efficiency community (see Appendix F).

Lighting has long been a prime target for R&D at DOE because of its high energy demand. Reducing the electricity needed for lighting should provide economic benefits, decrease emissions of carbon and other pollutants from electric generating stations, and reduce demand for primary energy. The lighting program’s main focus is on solid state lighting (SSL), including both light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). LEDs have already been commercialized for some applications but are not yet competitive for general illumination, where the big energy savings would be expected to occur. Because the panel determined that large benefits would be realized under the Reference Case, it did not analyze the other scenarios, which would have shown even larger benefits.

Calculating Expected Benefits

The lighting panel considered three levels of technological success:

  • DOE’s goal, a lamp efficacy of 150 lumens per watt (lpw), is attained by about 2015. Goals involving cost, reliability, and light quality will be almost as important in assuring commercial success.

  • DOE falls short of its goal, but SSL R&D improves lamp efficacy to 125 lpw by 2015.

  • Research progress is slow and efficacy rises to only 100 lpw by 2015, which is close to the efficacy of today’s linear fluorescent lamps but much higher than that of incandescent bulbs.

Gross benefits (the economic, environmental, and national security benefits that accrue from the use of improved lighting technology) are estimated by DOE using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS),1 which projects out to 2025, and MARKAL,2 which extends the analysis to 2050. Modeling analysis assumed that the SSL program would meet its goals and that SSL technology would compete in the marketplace for new and replacement applications.

Two sets of analyses were provided by DOE: the full budget ($50 million per year for 10 years) program, which leads to 142 lpw in 2015, and a reduced funding program ($25 million per year for 20 years), which results in lamps of 102 lpw in 2015 and 146 lpw in 2025 (the funding levels are discussed in Appendix F). The DOE analyses do not correspond exactly to the goals estimated by the panel because the work was done in parallel, but the first analysis is close to the 150 lpw goal considered by the panel and the second to the 100 lpw result.

The lighting panel did not accept DOE’s assumptions on competing technology, which ignored much research on SSL in other parts of the world and continued improvements in traditional (non-solid-state) lighting. Instead it applied a 5-year delay to the lower budget analysis and used that as a surrogate for the baseline, zero-DOE budget. DOE also ran this analysis and calculated benefits relative to this surrogate. The 5-year rule had been recommended by the NRC Committee on Benefits of DOE R&D on Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy R&D (see NRC, 2001) for use in the absence of better information. Because the experience with the panels convinced the committee that the 5-year rule is often inadequate for prospective evaluation, it recommends a more elaborate methodology in this report.

Probability Assessment

Each lighting panel member estimated the probability of achieving the technical goals at each level of success and each budget level, as shown in Figure 5-1, with the high and low probabilities surrounding each average. In addition, the panel estimated the probability that the market penetration projected by NEMS can be achieved or exceeded if the SSL technical goals are met at 70 percent.


NEMS is a computer-based, energy-economy modeling system of U.S. energy markets that projects the production, imports, conversion, consumption, and prices of energy, subject to assumptions on macroeconomic and financial factors, world energy markets, resource availability and costs, behavioral and technological choice criteria, cost and performance characteristics of energy technologies, and demographics (EIA, 2000).


The MARKet ALlocation model, or MARKAL, is a partial equilibrium, bottom-up energy system technology optimization model employing perfect foresight and solved using linear programming. Numerous model variants expand the core model to allow for demand response to price (EPA, 2004).

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