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Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two) (2007)

Chapter: Appendix G Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix G Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy." National Research Council. 2007. Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11806.
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G
Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy

Each panel applying the methodology to the various Department of Energy (DOE) programs will need to gather information about its particular programs. The information request and supporting documentation should take the form of a brief program assessment summary (PAS) (see Figure G-1). Individual assessment summaries should be prepared for each project in the program portfolio. It is suggested that DOE should provide the following information for each program:

  1. Program roadmap and logic;

  2. Articulation and quantification of program goals (near term, intermediate, final);

  3. Annual program budgets—to date, current, and needed to achieve the program’s goals;

  4. Co-funding—to date, current, and needed to achieve the program’s goals;

  5. Identification of complementary or competitive foreign and nonfederal domestic programs;

  6. Identification of other programs that comprise enabling and complementary technologies to the program under review;

  7. Key accomplishments (milestones met) to date;

  8. Barriers to program goal accomplishment and an identification of their importance to the program;

  9. Technological or infrastructure innovations or breakthroughs needed to meet the program’s goals and identification of competitive technology; and

  10. Other information and data as might be requested by the panel.

Similarly, DOE should provide the following information for each project in the program portfolio:

  1. Description of how the project aligns with and supports the program’s goals;

  2. Articulation and quantification of project’s goals (near term, intermediate, final);

  3. Annual project budget(s)—to date, current, and needed to achieve the program’s goals;

  4. Project co-funding—to date, current, and needed to achieve the project’s goals;

  5. Identification of those projects, in addition to those under review, that comprise enabling and complementary technologies;

  6. Key accomplishments (milestones met) to date;

  7. Barriers to project goal accomplishment and an identification of their importance to the project and program; and

  8. Technological or infrastructure innovations or breakthroughs needed to meet the project’s goals.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix G Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy." National Research Council. 2007. Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11806.
×

FIGURE G-1 Three-page program assessment summary (PAS) form, to be completed by DOE.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix G Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy." National Research Council. 2007. Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11806.
×
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy." National Research Council. 2007. Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11806.
×
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy." National Research Council. 2007. Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11806.
×
Page 107
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy." National Research Council. 2007. Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11806.
×
Page 108
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy." National Research Council. 2007. Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11806.
×
Page 109
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G Information to Be Requested of the Department of Energy." National Research Council. 2007. Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11806.
×
Page 110
Next: Appendix H Report of the Panel on DOE's Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Technology R&D Program »
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Since its inception in 1977 from an amalgam of federal authorities, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has administered numerous programs aimed at developing applied energy technologies. In recent years, federal oversight of public expenditures has emphasized the integration of performance and budgeting. Notably, the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) was passed in 1993 in response to questions about the value and effectiveness of federal programs. GPRA and other mandates have led agencies to develop indicators of program performance and program outcomes. The development of indicators has been watched with keen interest by Congress, which has requested of the National Research Council (NRC) a series of reports using quantitative indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of applied energy research and development (R&D).

The first such report took a retrospective view of the first 3 years of DOE R&D programs on fossil energy and energy efficiency. The report found that DOE-sponsored research had netted large commercial successes, such as advanced refrigerator compressors, electronic lighting ballasts, and emission control technology for flue gas desulfurization. However, some programs were judged to be costly failures in which large R&D expenditures did not result in a commercial energy technology. A follow-up NRC committee was assigned the task of adapting the methodology to the assessment of the future payoff of continuing programs.

Evaluating the outcome of R&D expenditures requires an analysis of program costs and benefits. Doing so is not a trivial matter. First, the analysis of costs and benefits must reflect the full range of public benefits that are envisioned, accounting for environmental and energy security impacts as well as economic effects. Second, the analysis must consider how likely the research is to succeed and how valuable the research will be if successful. Finally, the analysis must consider what might happen if the government did not support the project: Would some non-DOE entity undertake it or an equivalent activity that would produce some or all of the benefits of government involvement?

This second report continues to investigate the development and use of R&D outcome indicators and applies the benefits evaluation methodology to six DOE R&D activities. It provides further definition for the development of indicators for environmental and security benefits and refines the evaluation process based on its experience with the six DOE R&D case studies.

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