formed the Committee on R&D Opportunities for Advanced Fossil-fueled Energy Complexes to review the goals of the Vision 21 Program and the technologies and concepts that will be necessary to realize those goals.
The Statement of Task for this study describes the issues included in the committee's review of the Vision 21 Program:
The NRC committee appointed to conduct this study will review the technology directions and research and development strategy for future advanced fossil-fueled energy complexes. The DOE Vision 21 program is focused on innovative approaches to addressing several of the technical areas that are critical to the success of future energy complexes that are cost effective and will have very low emissions to the environment (such as criteria pollutants [nitrogen and sulfur oxides], air toxics, and greenhouse gases). These future energy complexes are envisioned to produce electricity, fuels, chemicals, and other products using feedstocks that include coal, natural gas, fuel mixtures (e.g., coal and biomass), and fuel-rich wastes. In its review of the program, the committee will evaluate whether the Vision 21 program is well positioned to develop options for clean energy systems for the future. As part of its review, the committee will consider and comment on such issues as:
the goals of the program;
the schedules and milestones;
the proposed market drivers for the technologies under development;
the balance of R&D in the program including the number of technologies under development and between early, precompetitive research and applied development;
the technologies being pursued and whether other directions are warranted;
public/private partnering for research and development; and
strategies for deployment.
As appropriate, the committee's report may include suggestion for R&D directions in critical technology areas such as gas separation technologies and emissions control technologies, or in other areas deemed important to the successful development of future advanced energy complexes.
During its review of the program, the committee solicited the views of DOE, academia, and industry. The committee's findings of fact and subsequent recommendations are based on this information, as well as the knowledge and experience of committee members. In formulating findings and recommendations, the committee also considered the current and future energy issues and challenges facing the United States, as well as environmental and climate change, which will inevitably influence domestic energy policy and the focus of OFE's programs.
In April 1999, the DOE issued The Vision 21 Program Plan: Clean Energy Plants for the 21st Century (DOE, 1999). DOE intends to implement the Plan by