With the goal of evaluating and improving the NEMS, the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council is requested to review NEMS and advise DOE in the following areas regarding energy modeling and policy analysis tools:
Energy Data: Are the quality and types of data that are currently gathered and available to DOE adequate for NEMS? If not, what additional data should be gathered? If some critical data are not obtainable, what alternatives are available?
Modeling Assumptions: Are the assumptions embodied in models internally consistent and valid? Is it possible to reduce the number of assumptions currently built into the models and the scenario runs?
Energy and Economic Models: What is the availability of other models or data, not currently being utilized in NEMS, that might be useful in improving the NEMS? Are there any gaps in the NEMS in terms of supply/demand feedbacks, consideration of international factors, weaknesses in analyzing certain policy options or other shortcomings?
Role of NEMS in Energy Policymaking: In general, what are both the capabilities and practical limitations of energy forecasting tools? Taking such limitations into account, what are the appropriate uses of forecasting tools in developing the National Energy Strategy (NES)? What other alternatives are available for developing long-range energy policy? How might they be incorporated into future NEMS/NES development?
A 21-month study by NRC is proposed for accomplishing a review of the NEMS modeling and analysis needs, to be conducted in two parts:
The first part of the review will be completed six months from contract award. NRC will examine the composition of the NEMS and its initial application with respect to a representative slate of analytical tasks. NRC will define and apply criteria to evaluate the capabilities and adequacy of the NEMS for its intended purposes of forecasting and analyzing a variety of energy supply, end-use and environmental issues. In this context, NRC will review, primarily through briefings and presentations from EIA and other DOE sources, NEMS assumptions and methodologies. Particular emphasis will be given to the review of significant components of NEMS as they concern the cost and performance (output) curves for energy supply and end use technologies, environmental releases. NRC will also review the Department's plans for further development of NEMS. NRC will, within six months of contract award, prepare and issue an initial report of its findings. This report, following NRC peer review procedures, will be forwarded to DOE for use in support of the development of the National Energy Strategy.