The Road Map for Energy Change Proposed by PCSAT

  • Date: December 09, 2010
  • Source: Admin
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 The Vision

On November 29 a report was released by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCSAT). Called Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy, the report furnishes a roadmap for the federal role to transform the energy system within a decade or two. The PCAST has sought regular strategic Quadrennial Reviews of energy policy on the lines of quadrennial reviews brought out regularly by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The first one is scheduled for early 2015. The group is comprised of presidentially appointed experts from varied fields. The fields represented are academia, nongovernmental organizations and industry. The group suggests a DOE level version of the review by June 1, 2011, focusing on DOE’s activities. According to the authors, the following factors justify the federal plan: 

  • Economic Competitiveness,
  • Environmental Stewardship,
  • National Security

The new report suggests:

Significant escalation in federal investments in energy-related research and develop-ment from the current level (approximately) of USD 5 billion per year to USD 16 billion per year
That the President engage the private sector, consumer representatives, and Congress in identifying options to generate new revenue streams which could support the development of more efficient energy technologies

Accelerating the Pace of Change partly answers a fall 2009 request of Secretary of Energy Seven Chu to review the nation’s current approach to energy-related innovation and suggest how the transformation of the US energy system can be accelerated to a more sustainable model.  PCAST inferred that the transformation is being slowed down by the following two developments: 

The large number of federal policies affecting the development, implementation and use of energy technologies. 
The lack of co-ordination among the many departments and agencies entrusted with responsibilities under those policies.

According to PCAST, planning would be facilitated in the following manner:

The Executive Office of the President would head the Quadrennial Energy Reviews

  • The secretariat would be provided by DOE.
  • The focus should be on promoting widespread application of new technologies that have proven worthy of scale-up


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) came into being in February 2009, as a response to the economic crisis. Amongst other things, it targets infrastructure development and enhancement. Section 406 of the ARRA has been amended to include provisions under the Energy Act of 2005. This authorizes loan guarantees for innovative technologies that evade greenhouse gases. The technologies might include:

  • Advanced nuclear reactor designs (like PBMRs)
  • Clean Coal
  • Renewable Energy

The Energy Policy Act of 2005

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 tries to find a solution to growing energy problems. The Act tries to ensure jobs for the future with secure, affordable, and reliable energy.  It changed the previous energy policy. The changes involve:

  • Providing tax incentives
  • Furnishing loan guarantees

These reforms concern different types of energy production.  



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