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Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two)
energy security related to electricity supply as physical quantities of oil and gas.
Energy Security Benefits: Oil and Gas
Finding: Increases in U.S. oil and gas consumption and imports may impose incremental costs that are not fully reflected in the market price. The cost components of this oil premium have been estimated in various studies. In principle, similar estimates could be made for natural gas, but the committee is unaware of such research having been done.
Recommendation 3: Panels should describe energy security benefits related to reduced oil and natural gas consumption quantitatively in the benefits matrix as physical quantities of oil and gas. The time pattern of the oil consumption impacts should be made explicit, along with an assessment of the probable state of the oil market during those future times.
CONTINUITY: INSTITUTIONALIZING THE EVALUATIONPROCESS
Finding: Prospective benefits evaluations would be most useful if DOE would adopt them. This would allow integration with GPRA, the President’s Management Agenda, and other tools and systems related to performance and budgeting.
Recommendation: DOE should create a triennial program evaluation cycle using the methodology of this Phase Two study for all the applied energy programs. If DOE chooses to undertake this internally, it would need to create a set of FACA committees managed by the DOE and reporting to the under secretary or higher. If DOE chooses to use the NRC, the NRC would independently appoint the oversight committee and panels to undertake the prospective benefits evaluations. A third possibility would be for a contractor working in the model of DOD’s JASON4 to perform the assessment.
JASON is a third-party review of the DOD weapons program, established in the 1950s, managed by MITRE Corporation and funded by the Department of Defense Research and Engineering (Finkbeiner, 2006).