they do not include the benefits of fundamental research sponsored by the Office of Science, health benefits, or other quality of life benefits that could be unintended but real consequences of some applied R&D programs.
The benefit of a new technology will often depend on developments quite unrelated to the technology itself. For example, the benefit of energy-efficient lighting will depend on the cost of electricity, which in turn depends on the costs of fuels like natural gas and coal used to generate electricity. Similarly, the economic benefits associated with carbon sequestration will depend on carbon emissions being constrained or taxed and the level of constraint. Thus, assumptions about the future of prices and environmental constraints, among other things, can have a significant effect on the prospective benefits of a technology.
The scenarios in Figure F-1 represent three possible future states of the world that are likely to affect the benefits associated with a wide variety of DOE applied R&D programs. It is recommended that the same three scenarios be used to evaluate all the programs. The use of a common set of scenarios across program evaluations will allow reviewers to consider many programs without having to learn definitions for multiple scenarios and will facilitate comparisons