program. As a consequence of the widespread availability of natural gas and petroleum, industry R&D on technologies for producing clean fuels from coal is currently very modest in scope, apart from the development of coal gasification technologies for integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power generation systems. Thus, the committee saw DOE as uniquely able to play a leading role in maintaining and developing technological expertise in fuels production and positioning the United States to respond to potential demands for coal-based fuels in the mid to long-term.
The committee recommends that within the DOE coal program there be an increasing emphasis on the production of clean fuels and other carbon-based products over time.
A further consequence of the committee's recommendation that the strategic planning scenario be extended beyond 2010 is the need to reassess the role and priorities of DOE's advanced research programs. As noted above, there has been a significant decrease in the advanced research budget since 1988. To some extent, this decline reflects the transition of advanced power generation systems from R&D to demonstration status. However, significant reductions have also occurred in funding for coal liquefaction and other advanced research areas. In the opinion of the committee, the DOE budget reductions for advanced research are not commensurate with the increasing needs for lower-cost, more efficient, and more environmentally acceptable use of coal through the next 50 years and beyond. The decline in DOE activities is all the more serious given the decreasing private sector investment in long-range research on coal-related technologies.
The committee recommends that increased resources be devoted to advanced research activities to support DOE's strategic objectives for coal, with emphasis on needs identified for mid- and long-term improvements in efficiency, emissions reduction, and cost for both power generation and fuels production.
Research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of advanced power generation technologies is conducted under the Advanced Clean/Efficient Power Systems component of the FE coal R&D program. DOE goals for efficiency, emissions, and cost have been established. Efficiencies are projected to rise from current new plant levels of 38 to 42 percent to 60 percent within the next two decades. A number of interim systems are proposed with target efficiencies of 45 to 55 percent. DOE's target for emissions of SO2, NOx, and particulates is one-