FIGURE 5-1 Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy planned program funding, by organization, FY 2012 (estimated). NOTE: IAA, Interagency Agreement; FOA (TBD), Funding Opportunity Announcement (to be determined). SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Adequacy and balance of the program depend on what the program intends to achieve and when. Reducing dependence on petroleum and reducing emissions are goals that are broad and nonspecific and not readily amenable to the setting of priorities. In that regard, engaging the Partnership’s Executive Steering Group to set clearer targets would be desirable in order to provide a framework for ranking technology readiness and for assessing the seriousness of hurdles and evaluating them against potential societal benefits over time. As an example, the National Academies’ report America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (NAS/NAE/NRC, 2009) laid out a scenario of 2 to 4 percent electrified vehicles (PHEVs and BEVs) and 0 to 1 percent HFCVs by 2020, and 10 to 25 percent and 3 to 6 percent, respectively, by 2035. In order to achieve the projected volumes by 2035, significant improvements in battery performance are needed to make the vehicles attractive to the consumer. Extrapolating from current technologies without successful development of new chemistry, electric drive vehicles are more attractive than fuel cell vehicles for short-range usage, but less so for long-range travel. Thus, a large-scale replacement of petroleum usage by these alternate fuels will potentially rely on both technologies to satisfy consumer needs. It is appropriate to continue investing resources on the most impactful research in order to achieve these targets, and it is important to focus resources within each technology area on the greatest technical challenges (as discussed in Chapter 3), and also not to let the resource dwindle so far as to be unable to sustain a critical mass required to support a robust decision on any technology.