Cross-impacts analysis development and energy policy analysis applications
impact analysis is a technique that produces scenarios of future conditions and possibilities. It has undergone considerable modification since its introduction and is still the subject of much experimentation and revision. PNL has investigated its usefulness and applicability to energy policy analysis. Why investigate cross-impact analysis when there are already several other forecasting techniques available to DOE for conducting energy policy analysis? Cross-impact analysis has several unique
... has several unique attributes that make it a tool worth examining, especially in the current climate when the outlook for the economy and several of the key energy markets is uncertain. Cross-impact analysis provides special capability for energy policy studies because it is different from and complements the econometric, engineering, systems dynamics, or trend approaches that are already in use at DOE. Crossimpact analysis does not produce detailed forecasts but is a tool that produces self-consistent scenarios in the broadest sense and can include interaction between the economy, technology, society and the environment. Energy policy analyses that couple broad scenarios of the future with detailed forecasting can produce more powerful results than scenario analysis or forecasts can produce alone. Coupling the approaches can quantify the impacts of alternative energy policies under a wide range of future economic, societal, and technological conditions, possibilities and contingencies. Cross-impact analysis shows considerable promise as a policy analysis tool as evidenced by the following features. Cross-impact analysis: • makes explicit the assumptions and judgments used to produce scenarios of the future; • provides a structured analysis process for testing opposing viewpoints regarding future conditions, events, and possibilities; .. • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We wish to recognize the contributions of a number of analysts and experts in the course of this project. In addition to the staff of the Office of Policy Integration (OPI), particularly Barry McNutt, we recognize the contribution of Robert C. Marlay, currently with the Office of Energy Research of the Department of Energy (DOE), in the initial workshops for the industrial sector. This project owes special recognition to H. T. McAdams, for his contribution of numerous thoughtful essays on the cross-impact approach, the conversion of qualitative impacts to probabilities, and the computat1on of the probabilities associated with a particular scenario. ix " •• CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ; i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ix ..