First, this number is the result of a range of probabilities that represented the views of the panel. The probability range is important to consider. The numbers in the matrix should not be viewed as being too precise or subject to incremental analysis. Second, the probability aspect is but one element to consider as an R&D portfolio is constructed. Projects should not necessarily be selected on the basis of highest to lowest “expected value.” There are many elements to consider in selecting the projects that will constitute a well-constructed and balanced R&D portfolio.
This report has focused on evaluating the DOE-funded SSL Program based on the goal that solid state lighting will—at some point in the future—replace conventional lighting. The panel also noted that other potential benefits are likely to arise. As new light sources are developed, new applications will also emerge, yielding economic benefits that have not been discussed here. Indeed, even if the program fails to produce a light source that replaces an appreciable number of conventional lighting fixtures, it is possible that these new applications alone will benefit the overall economy in such a way as to make the program worthwhile. As a caution regarding energy consumption, however, such new applications are likely to increase demand for energy, not reduce it.
The Panel on Benefits of Lighting R&D found the methods proposed by the full committee to be workable. Results should be helpful to DOE and Congress in considering their budgeting priorities. The panel noted several points that should be considered in future endeavors. The presentations and support by DOE representatives were excellent. Their help and professionalism are appreciated. The panel was made up of members who were all very interested in the subject and had great expertise in the lighting and energy savings field. The chair kept the discussions on track, focused, and on subject. Several members had facilitation skills that also were very helpful in keeping the group focused and working in an orderly and cooperative manner. The wide range of experience and opinions among panel members ensured that the issues were fully discussed and understood by everyone. Disagreement was encouraged, resulting in conclusions that represent diversity and balance, a nearly impossible expectation for committee meetings. Although the NEMS database lacked some flexibility, it did not detract from the validity of the conclusions. The use of both voice voting and secret balloting on the probability estimates permitted a comparison of methods. The voice voting early in the meeting brought out some great debates and thoughts, but the final vote by secret ballot probably produced a truer and more thoughtful result. The combination worked well.
A few items should be considered in order to improve the process. Consideration should be given to viewing a project such as this one on a total system basis. For example, the panel could have used a fixture representative and a general construction expert during its deliberations. Solid state lighting will cause a major change in fixture and building design and, although the panel reached no conclusions on these issues, it is worth noting that it may have underestimated the savings in energy consumption and the speed of market acceptance.5
Consideration should be given to including on the panel laboratory scientists (e.g., a discharge lighting physicist), who could be helpful in determining the exact scientific requirements for a major breakthrough in existing technologies.
The panel’s experience was very positive, and it hopes that this methodology will be a great resource as attempts are made to determine how the nation’s precious national research dollars are spent. Thanks are extended to DOE for the opportunity to participate and for their leadership and professionalism.
Maxine Savitz (NAE) (chair) is retired general manager of Technology Partnerships, Honeywell, Inc. She has managed large R&D programs in the federal government and in the private sector. Some of the positions that she has held include the following: chief, Buildings Conservation Policy Research, Federal Energy Administration; professional manager, Research Applied to National Needs, National Science Foundation; division director, Buildings and Industrial Conservation, Energy Research and Development Administration; deputy assistant secretary for conservation, U.S. Department of Energy; president, Lighting Research Institute; and general manager, Ceramic Components, AlliedSignal Inc. (now Honeywell). Dr. Savitz has extensive technical experience in the areas of materials, fuel cells, batteries and other storage devices, energy efficiency, and R&D management. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She has been, or is serving as, a member of numerous public- and private-sector boards and has served on many energy-related and other NRC committees. She has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
More efficient lighting will reduce air-conditioning loads in the summer. This effect is likely to be greater than the reduced contribution to heating in the winter for most buildings. In addition, the thinner profile of the lighting fixtures, coupled with the potentially smaller ducts required for the building heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning system, means that the space above the ceiling might be reduced, thus reducing building construction costs. However, it is also possible that other factors not considered here would diminish benefits.