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DOE Releases Second Quadrennial Technology Review on S&T Energy Efforts

October 01, 2015

The Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review (QTR), a more than 500-page report examining the status of foundational energy science and technology (S&T). The QTR also highlights the research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) opportunities with a focus on technologies with commercialization potential in the mid-term and beyond. DOE intends to use the QTR in assisting decision makers as they set priorities, within budget constraints, to fund RDD&D and commercialization efforts that will develop more secure, affordable, and sustainable energy services.

In the QTR, DOE outlines three enduring strategic objectives of the agency’s efforts related to creating a national energy system:

  • Security and Resiliency – there are four interrelated dimensions to energy security: physical, cyber, supply, and conflict-related;
  • Economic Competitiveness – progress in a broader array of advanced technologies could increase the diversity and stability of energy supplies, and spark competition to drive further price declines; and,
  • Environmentally responsible – development of a clean energy system will rely on increasingly advanced technologies to minimize its environmental footprint.

Six sets of core RDD&D opportunities are identified and presented in the QTR as areas of high interest to DOE including electric grid, electricity production, building, manufacturing, fuels, and transportation sectors. Each of these sectors is highlighted in their own chapter of the QTR.

In this edition of the QTR, DOE identifies eight, crosscutting technical topic areas that the agency will focus on encouraging RDD&D and commercialization efforts over the next four years: grid modernization; systems integration; cybersecurity; energy-water; subsurface rock formations; materials across all energy sectors; fuel-engine co-optimization; and, energy storage. Four enabling tools are identified to help RDD&D and commercialization efforts address technology gaps in the national energy system:

  • Computational modeling and simulation – high-fidelity simulations, in turn, inform models that improve and accelerate the RDD&D phases of the energy innovation cycle;
  • Data and analysis – emerging science of extracting actionable information from large data sets is both an opportunity to accelerate RDD&D and a research need;
  • Analysis of complex systems – thee convergence of the sectors of the energy system introduces a need for foundational, conceptual research on integrated, networked, and complex systems; and,
  • Characterization and control of matter at multiscales – the research spans a range of dimensions from the atom, to biological cells, to macroscopic structures, with applications across many scientific and engineering disciplines.

The Quadrennial Technology Review 2015 is available at: http://energy.gov/quadrennial-technology-review-2015?dm_i=1ZJN,3OHB3,E29DYI,D8IJ0,1

dept of energy, r&d, commercialization, energy