Chapter 4: Technical Discussions of the Case Studies
INTRODUCTION The technical backgrounds for the three case studies that follow are discussed in this chapter. It is important to compare and contrast these backgrounds to appreciate the scope of research (e.g., applied R&D, market technology, and improvements in mature technology) that EERE supports and that is evaluated in the following chapters. EERE is currently organized around the ten technology programs listed in Table 4.1. Table 4.1 also provides a general assessment of the life-cycle stage of the technology programs and their status related to commercialization and existing markets. It should be noted that most of the technology programs individually pursue a portfolio of research that spans from applied research and development to deployment of mature technologies. As mentioned previously, EERE’s programs rely heavily on partnerships with the private sector, state and local government, DOE national laboratories, and universities. This wide range of public sector and private sector partnerships reflects the variation of where the research is relative to the technology life cycle. For example, for early biomass technologies, EERE partners heavily with universities and national laboratories. For more mature technologies, as is the case with wind and water power technologies, EERE partners with private-sector companies to make incremental improvements. For mature and commercially available technologies, EERE works with federal, state, and local government entities to adoption. The three case studies included in the following chapters document the range of research activities conducted by EERE at different stages of the technology life cycle: ● The Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP)...
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