Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future: Interlaboratory Working Group on Energy-Efficient and Clean-Energy Technologies
Northwest National Laboratory. The report seeks to develop a better understanding of the potential for R&D programs and public policies to foster clean energy technology solutions to the energy and environmental challenges facing the nation. These challenges include global climate change, air pollution, oil dependence, and inefficiencies in the production and use of energy. The study uses a scenario-based approach to examine alternative portfolios of public policies and technologies. The
... s were selected by the authors through a dialogue with numerous representatives from the private sector, non-profit organizations, universities, and government. These policies range from expansions of long-existing programs to new policies, some of which are clearly controversial. This study does not make policy recommendations. Rather, the purpose of the study is to better understand the costs and benefits of alternative sets of policies to accelerate clean energy technology solutions. Some of these policies are not the policies of the current Administration. In addition, the policies do not address the complete range of policy options. For example, the scenarios do not include international emissions trading which could be important to meeting possible carbon emission targets. This study identifies the potential for impressive advances in the development and deployment of clean energy technologies without significant net economic impacts. Widespread use of these technologies would do much to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. In reviewing the study s results, however, it is important to remember the imprecision of policy analysis; uncertainties derive from such diverse issues as the likely pace of technology advancements and the response of consumers to market-based incentives. We believe this study will make a substantial contribution to developing a deeper understanding of the potential for clean energy technologies and policies to meet future energy and environmental goals and challenges. This study provides a foundation of analysis that can help the nation identify smart, sustainable energy policies and technologies. The contributions to this study by multiple national laboratories, and industry and university participants and reviewers, are another example of the effective partnerships that the Department of Energy is fostering to advance the nation s energy and environmental agenda.