U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
EERE Plans, Implementation, & Results
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The offices of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) use a variety of RD&D management practices to implement their plans (e.g., periodic peer reviews). Broadly, these practices break down into two major areas: the research and development of new technologies and the deployment of such technologies and "best practices" into the marketplace.
To help EERE offices intelligently manage the large and dynamic nature of information produced by their RD&D portfolios, systems engineering processes and models are frequently used. This helps offices integrate rich streams of complex technical data with programmatic data about schedules and budgets and make informed portfolio management decisions.
Detailed evaluations of the potential cost and performance of new technology systems help lay the foundation for new research areas. They support the development of specific criteria that become the focus of new competitive solicitations.
In implementing their plans, EERE offices also participate in an array of deployment and diffusion projects. Deployment includes activities that promote the adoption of advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and practices.
Some EERE offices work with other organizations to develop and implement codes, standards, rules and regulations in order to help deploy more efficient energy supply and use technologies. For example, such approaches are used where market barriers interfere with the widespread adoption of technologies or practices that can help reduce energy use by consumers.
Education and workforce development are also used by EERE offices in some cases to help deploy technologies and practices. Such efforts can range from simply improving awareness about the benefits of renewable energy and more energy-efficient technologies to providing detailed instruction in the technical skills required to implement or use complex new technologies.
Most newly planned projects and initiatives—whether technology research, development, or deployment—begin with a competitive solicitation to obtain the most promising innovative ideas that simultaneously offer the best investment value to the government. Proposals are reviewed by merit selection panels, and those selected receive financial assistance from EERE to fund work on their ideas. In the majority of cases, these activities take the form of cost-shared R&D partnerships with the private sector. This also helps ensure efficient and rapid transfer of successfully developed technologies and processes to the private sector.
Awarded projects must have milestones that align with goals articulated in program plans. Frequent progress reports to EERE help ensure projects remain on target toward their milestones and that work conforms to approved plans and budgets.
Periodic peer reviews of each office's overall portfolio help identify projects that are not meeting expectations. Such reviews enable EERE offices to adjust their portfolio of projects in a rational manner. Stage-gate reviews are also conducted at appropriate times to assess whether or not a project should move ahead to an advanced level of development, typically requiring additional investment.