Scenario Planning by the DOE Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel
The Hydrogen Future Act of 1996 further required that HTAP analyze the effectiveness of the DOE Hydrogen Program and make recommendations to improve the Program for inclusion in a report to Congress by the Secretary. One of the HTAP’s recommendations was that the Program undertake scenario planning to help develop a rationale for a robust RD&D program. Such a rationale would help to link the HTAP’s long-term vision of hydrogen (along with electricity) as one of two principal energy carriers in the 21st century with specific RD&D projects funded by Program. Scenario planning is a tool that can help DOE establish a long-term strategic context for its year-to-year investments in hydrogen RD&D. Scenario planning will also help HTAP articulate a compelling perception of a hydrogen energy future for government leaders and the public.
The Committee refined the storylines within each quadrant formed by the intersection of the two axes as shown below:
At the second workshop held in November 2000 in Thousand Palms, California, U.S.A., a smaller group of participants with specific interests and expertise in hydrogen energy systems was asked to use the four quadrants as launching points for further discussion and elaboration. The first step was to draw for each quadrant “end-state scenarios” in all their social, political, economic, and environmental details as time permitted. Because the future will not unfold according to one storyline and to the exclusion of the others but will, in all probability, wind and twist its way through all four (and other) storylines, the participants also examined “trajectories” that involve more than one end-state and explored a dynamic set of scenarios that cross and weave among the four quadrants. With further work after the workshop by the HTAP Scenario Planning Committee, these fully elaborated end-states and trajectories will be developed into a set of scenarios.
After revision, the scenarios will be adopted by HTAP and transmitted to DOE. HTAP will assist DOE in planning and conducting a Strategic Response Workshop in the Spring or early Summer of 2001 to examine the Program’s RD&D portfolio in the context of the HTAP scenarios. The purpose of this workshop will be to draw out more fully the R&D implications of the scenarios and to develop recommendations to the DOE on a strategic context and priorities for its hydrogen R&D portfolio.
The hydrogen community has been working closely with the international standards bodies, especially ISO/TC-197 (the technical committee on hydrogen within the International Organization of Standardization) to create international standards. It is also necessary now to work with the US DOT on these UN recommendations. Why? The UN Committee of Experts may adopt an international standard as is, with modification, or not at all. It is important that the rationale for decisions made in the international efforts is provided for the benefit of the UN committee.
The NHA acts as an information source and facilitator in the hydrogen safety discussion. Industry is committed to the actions necessary to achieve the acceptance of hydrogen as a commercial energy carrier. I look forward to building a relationship with the US DOT and the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods to develop international model recommendations that allow the safe, intermodal transport of hydrogen in international commerce.
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