In developing its conclusions and recommendations regarding future emphasis and priorities for DOE's coal program, the committee used a set of strategic planning criteria and scenarios for the near-, mid-, and long-term time periods, as discussed above and elaborated in Chapter 4. A major input to strategic planning is encompassed in the coal-related provisions of EPACT, which list technology areas and actions to be pursued by DOE.
In the final part of Chapter 10, the committee's conclusions and recommendations are interpreted in the context of EPACT. The committee's comments on DOE's response to individual coal-related sections of EPACT are summarized in Table 10-4. Priorities are given for DOE activities based on the committee's strategic planning approach, the development status of the technologies, and other industrial and federal programs. For example, if technologies are available commercially, the committee generally recommended low priority for DOE activities. Similarly, if there is extensive R&D in the private sector, the committee recommended that DOE leverage these efforts. The committee concluded that the current DOE coal program is responsive in varying degrees to all the coal-related provisions of EPACT addressed in the study. However, the committee observed that the balance of activities in the current DOE coal program differs from that mandated by EPACT.
The committee concluded that the DOE Advanced Clean/Efficient Power Systems program responds to the EPACT sections relating to coal-based power generation and is consistent with projected market demands for new generating capacity in the mid- and long-term periods (2006-2040). In this context the committee endorses DOE's decision to terminate the magnetohydrodynamics proof-of-concept program. Magnetohydrodynamics does not appear to offer significant advantages over other high-efficiency systems, and the next step in development would involve a costly demonstration program with high technical risk. While the committee considered the current CCT program to be an excellent start in the commercialization of advanced power generation technologies, it concluded that prevailing conditions in the power generation industry will necessitate further federal cost-sharing programs to accelerate commercial acceptance of many of these new technologies. The committee's major recommendations pertaining to EPACT Section 1301 (c), subparagraphs c(3), c(4), and c(5) are given above (see "Commercialization Efforts").
In contrast to power generation, the committee concluded that DOE activities in coal liquefaction fall short of EPACT requirements. Given the likely growth in demand for coal-based liquid fuels in the mid- to long-term periods and the decline in industrial liquefaction R&D, the committee considered that the priority accorded DOE liquefaction activities within EPACT is well founded and should be reflected in a revised DOE coal program. The committee recognizes that the decline in DOE support for liquefaction in recent years may be the result