Energy Research at DOE: Was it Worth It? Energy Efficiency by Committee on Benefits of DOE R&D on Energy Efficiency and

By Committee on Benefits of DOE R&D on Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National Research Council, CETS

A document from the Committee on advantages of DOE R&D on strength potency and Fossil strength, Board on strength and Environmental structures, and department on Engineering and actual Sciences. Softcover.

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Extra info for Energy Research at DOE: Was it Worth It? Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Research 1978 to 2000

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Of these, the most fundamental is how to define and systematically capture the diversity of benefits that result from publicly funded research within a dynamic environment of marketplace activity, technological advancement, and societal change. In this chapter, the framework the committee developed for doing so is discussed, as well as comments on some of the implications of applying it. TABLE 2-1 The Most Important Fossil Energy and Energy Efficiency Technological Innovations Since 1978 Technology Now in the Marketplace Fossil energy Efficient gas turbine in stationary systems 3-D seismic imaging Deep water drilling and production Improved oil and gas reservoir characterization and modeling Improved oil and gas drilling: horizontal, deviated, and extended Diamond drill bits Coal-bed methane Flue gas cleanup Atmospheric fluid-bed combustion Fracture technology for tight gas Oil refinery optimization Longwall coal mining Coal cleaning Energy efficiency More efficient electric motors Higher mileage automobiles More efficient electronic ballasts More efficient household refrigerators More effective insulation Synthetic lubricants More efficient gas furnaces More energy-efficient windows More efficient industrial processes More efficient buildings THE SETTING Basic economic principles suggest that the private sector undertakes research and commercializes technologies when private firms can capture economic benefits in excess of the costs of achieving them.

The volatility of the oil market and the possibility of extended price drops during the period when the developer is trying to develop and market efficient vehicles could lead to significant losses. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been responsible for automobile information guidelines and testing methods and tailpipe emissions regulations. Although the Department of Commerce (DOC) has had the lead in PNGV, DOE has had the lead in funding and coordinating with industry the R&D program for developing a production prototype passenger car with up to 80 mpg.

Another assumption is the 2005 rule, by which the committee assessed benefits for all the technologies evaluated by the committee as being installed in the market by 2005 and assessed those benefits over their useful economic life. The year 2005 was used because the committee was reasonably sure of economic and other conditions up to that time and did not want to project out further because of uncertainties. As part of its deliberations, the committee invited members of government, industry, and public interest groups to comment on the goals, performance, and effectiveness of the relevant DOE research and development programs over the period of interest.

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