The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

What You Need To Know About Energy

Renewable Power Pathways: A Review of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Programs (2000)

The goal of this study was to assess the Department of Energy (DOE) research initiatives underway at the Office of Power Technologies (OPT), part of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Some of these programs are focused on photovoltaic, wind, solar thermal, geothermal, biopower, and hydroelectric energy technologies, while others are focused on energy storage, electric transmission (including superconductivity), and hydrogen technologies. The NRC found that while most of DOE’s goals and objectives for cost and technical performance for renewable energy technologies have been met or exceeded, and the advantages and disadvantages of the various technologies are now well understood, the agency has been less successful in meeting its goals for deployment. As a result, the recommendations in the report stress the need for OPT to work on this problem by taking several steps, including initiating a strategic plan development process and formulating a robust rationale for its portfolio of renewable energy technology projects. The long-term goal is to develop a sustainable, cost-effective energy supply system for domestic and international markets.

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