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  • Shared responsibilities for nuclear disarmament - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    to acquire civilian nuclear technology under Article IV The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA decides whether or not a state is in compliance with its specific safeguards commitments But the IAEA does not determine the appropriate response to a safeguards violation that is not remedied in a timely fashion instead it reports any such case of noncompliance to the UN Security Council and the General Assembly as it did in 2004 with respect to Libya and in 2006 with respect to Iran and then the Security Council must decide on appropriate responses 8 Second Article IV refers to all the Parties to the Treaty not just the NNWS This should lead to increased opportunities to share responsibility for nonproliferation and disarmament for it suggests that as part of their Article IV commitment the NWS should reaffirm that international safeguards can eventually be placed on all of their nuclear power plants and enrichment and reprocessing facilities Indeed such an agreement in principle with an exception for facilities with direct national security significance was in fact made by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967 as a major compromise during the NPT negotiations 9 Reaffirming this commitment as a responsibility under Article IV should be easy to accept in principle after all if NWS are committed to working in good faith toward nuclear disarmament at some point they would become to coin an acronym FNWS former nuclearweapons states and the safeguard exceptions they currently maintain would no longer apply In practice it would be helpful for NWS to go beyond reaffirmations and expressions of principle and pick one or more model facilities to place under advanced safeguards to demonstrate future intentions and help create best practices Strict safeguards on existing nuclear fuel production facilities in the NWS are not really necessary today to ensure that the materials from the plants are not diverted for nuclear weapons since NWS already have sufficient fissile materials from their military nuclear production programs But placing new facilities under IAEA safeguards would signal equitable treatment and a long term commitment to disarmament Similar safeguards will also be needed if a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty FMCT ending the production of materials for weapons is successfully negotiated though in this case the verification and safeguarding functions would be best handled at least initially by a new organization of inspectors from NWS rather than the IAEA so as to limit access into sensitive former weapons material production facilities Third responsibilities for sharing the financial support of IAEA international safeguards can be improved Today each IAEA member state pays into a regular budget of the Agency from which the Safeguards Division draws funds for its inspection programs but the Agency is strapped for funds to deal with the current level of inspections and will be much more so if nuclear power continues to expand as expected and if the more intrusive regime required by the Agreed Protocol which calls for advanced inspections comes into force One approach that has been advocated is to have states pay more into the IAEA safeguards budget in proportion to the number and kinds of facilities they have on their soil that are subject to inspection This approach however places the financial burden only on the state that benefits from the nuclear power plant or fuel facility in question and ignores that the nonproliferation benefits of the safeguards are shared by all states A better approach would be to have all governments both NWS and NNWS and both states with nuclear power programs and those without nuclear power substantially increase their funding support for the IAEA to enhance its future safeguards capabilities Indeed it would be possible to have private industry and even philanthropic organizations interested in promoting more safe and secure use of nuclear power also contribute to the IAEA safeguards budget 10 Article VI of the NPT states in full Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control Many diplomats from NNWS have complained at virtually every NPT review conference that the NWS have not done enough to meet their disarmament commitments and the May 2009 NPT Preparatory Committee meeting was not unusual in that regard The NNWS complaints are not without some merit for the recent Bush administration did not follow through on some of the disarmament related commitments most specifically seeking ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that previous administrations had made at NPT review conferences 11 In addition some former U S government officials have unhelpfully claimed that the United States never really intended to keep its Article VI commitments Former CIA Director John Deutch for example asserted in Foreign Affairs in 2005 that Washington was unwise to commit under Article 6 of the Nonproliferation Treaty NPT to pursue good faith negotiations toward complete disarmament a goal it has no intention of pursuing 12 The Bush administration s 2001 U S Nuclear Posture Review was also widely interpreted to signal movement away from the NPT commitment to nuclear disarmament because the document declared that U S nuclear weapons possess unique capabilities to hold at risk targets that are important to achieve strategic and political objectives it called for the development of new nuclear warheads and it outlined a strategy of dissuasion the policy of maintaining such a large advantage in military forces including nuclear that other states would be dissuaded from even considering entering into a military arms competition with the United States Many diplomats and scholars have spoken about the specific arms control and disarmament steps the United States and other NWS could take to demonstrate that they are pursuing their Article VI commitments more seriously Missing from this debate is a discussion of what the NNWS can do to help in the disarmament process Looking at shared responsibilities points to two specific ways in which the NNWS can better honor their Article VI commitments First just as NWS and NNWS should share responsibilities for funding the increasingly advanced international safeguards necessary for nuclear power facilities the NWS and NNWS should both contribute significantly to funding the necessary major research and development effort for improved monitoring and verification technologies that will be needed if nuclear disarmament is to progress to very low numbers of weapons In October 2008 the British government invited the governments of the other NPT recognized nuclear states the United States Russia France and China to participate in a major technical conference examining future verification challenges and opportunities Even more importantly the British government recognized that R D for disarmament verification must not occur in splendid isolation and so jointly sponsored test programs with the Norwegian government laboratories to identify promising technologies that would permit Norway and other NNWS to be more directly involved in implementing and monitoring future global nuclear disarmament 13 Second focusing on shared responsibilities helps identify a more direct and stronger linkage between Article VI and Article IV of the NPT Because NWS will be less likely to accept deep reductions to zero or close to zero if there are more and more states with latent nuclear weapons capability because of the spread of uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technologies NNWS have both an individual interest and a collective responsibility to make sure that constraints are placed on sensitive fuel cycle facilities In short the NNWS should recognize that entering into negotiations about international control of the nuclear fuel cycle is an essential part of their Article VI commitment to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race A third common criticism of the disarmament goal is that nuclear force reductions might backfire inadvertently encouraging nuclear proliferation by undercutting U S extended deterrent commitments In September 2008 for example Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates declared that the United States will need to maintain a nuclear force for the foreseeable future basing this position in part on the need to protect U S non nuclear allies The role nuclear forces play in the deterrence of attack against allies remains an essential instrument of U S nonproliferation policy by significantly reducing the incentives for a number of allied countries to acquire nuclear weapons for their own In the absence of this nuclear umbrella some non nuclear allies might perceive a need to develop and deploy their own nuclear capability 14 The term nuclear umbrella however should be deleted from the strategic lexicon used by government officials and scholars alike It connotes a defensive passive strategy as if Japan South Korea and NATO countries were protected by some kind of missile defense shield rather than the threat of retaliation with nuclear weapons against a state that attacks a U S ally Even more importantly the nuclear umbrella term does not differentiate between two very different kinds of extended deterrence policies a U S commitment to use nuclear weapons first if necessary to defend an ally if it is attacked by an enemy who uses conventional forces biological or chemical weapons or nuclear weapons and a more tailored U S commitment to use U S nuclear weapons in retaliation against only a nuclear attack on an ally The first form of extended deterrence was the U S Cold War policy in NATO and in East Asia and remains largely intact today despite the end of the Cold War Adopting the second form of extended deterrence maintaining commitments to joint defense but limiting the threat of nuclear weapons use to retaliation against nuclear attacks on allies would not necessarily lead to the nuclear proliferation cascade that Gates and Bodman seem to fear Indeed a more targeted U S nuclear guarantee if implemented properly after alliance consultation could have a number of positive strategic effects First such a change might be welcomed by those allies who continue to value allied conventional military commitments but feel that first use nuclear threats encourage nuclear proliferation elsewhere in the world A more targeted nuclear guarantee would also make U S nuclear weapons doctrine consistent with Negative Security Assurances NSAS commitments not to use nuclear weapons against NNWS which all five NPT recognized NWS have made at past NPT review conferences and at the UN Security Council in 1995 In addition abandoning U S threats to use nuclear weapons in response to another state using chemical or biological weapons against the United States or our allies could be followed by more credible deterrent threats to respond with devastating conventional military retaliation and with a commitment to isolate and overthrow any leader who uses outlawed chemical or biological weapons Finally limiting the role of U S nuclear weapons to deterrence of other states use of nuclear weapons would signal strong support for the eventual elimination of all nuclear weapons for if such a no first use nuclear doctrine became universally accepted the existing NWS could more easily coordinate moving in tandem to lower and equal levels of nuclear weapons on the road to zero Such a change in U S and other powers nuclear doctrine will not be easily accepted by all allies nor will it be easy to implement within military establishments NATO official doctrine for example which has not been revised since 1999 continues to assert though it does not prove that nuclear weapons remain critical for a variety of threat scenarios T he Alliance s conventional forces alone cannot ensure credible deterrence Nuclear weapons make a unique contribution in rendering the risks of aggression against the Alliance incalculable and unacceptable Thus they remain essential to preserve peace 15 Interest in maintaining an expansive form of extended deterrence remains strong in East Asia as well Ambassador Yukio Satoh for example correctly notes that the Japanese government s official Defense Program Outline states only that to protect its territory and people against the threat of nuclear weapons Japan will continue to rely on the U S nuclear deterrent but Satoh has also recommended that the United States should now threaten to retaliate with nuclear weapons if North Korea uses chemical or biological weapons in any future conflict 16 The major responsibility for reducing the roles and missions that nuclear weapons play in the doctrines of the nuclear powers clearly falls on the governments of those nations President Obama called for precisely such doctrinal change in his 2009 Prague speech promising that to put an end to Cold War thinking we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy This will require that U S politicians and military officers stop leaning on the crutch of nuclear weapons to shore up deterrence even in situations in which the credibility of such threats is vanishingly thin During the 2008 U S election primary campaign for example Senators Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd both criticized then Senator Obama for saying that he would not consider using U S nuclear weapons to attack al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan a U S ally arguing in Clinton s words I don t believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or non use of nuclear weapons 17 In May 2009 General Kevin Chilton the commander of the U S Strategic Command took the all options are on the table argument to a new level threatening U S nuclear retaliation in response to cyber attacks I think you don t take any response options off the table from an attack on the United States of America And I don t see any reason to treat cyber any differently I mean why would we tie the president s hands 18 While the United States and other NWS should take the first steps to reduce their reliance on nuclear weapons there is much that NNWS can do to encourage and enable new nuclear doctrines to be adopted in the spirit of shared responsibilities for nuclear disarmament First NNWS that are members of U S alliances can stop asking to be reassured about noncredible military options This is not a new problem Indeed although the global strategic context is different Henry Kissinger alluded to a similar dynamic when he admonished the NATO alliance back in 1979 We must face the fact that it is absurd to base the strategy of the West on the credibility of the threat of mutual suicide Don t you Europeans keep asking us to multiply assurances that we cannot possibly mean and that if we mean them we should not want to execute and that if we execute we ll destroy civilization That is our strategic dilemma into which we have built ourselves by our own theory and by the encouragement of our allies 19 Second it would be helpful if the NNWS that are not members of U S alliances would spend as much time condemning states that are caught violating their commitments not to develop chemical or biological weapons as they do complaining that the NSAS offered at the NPT review conferences should be legally binding Finally those U S allies that remain concerned about conventional or chemical and biological threats to their national security should as part of their Article VI disarmament commitment help to develop the conventional forces and defensive systems that could wean themselves away from excessive reliance on U S nuclear weapons for extended deterrence 20 The final argument against nuclear disarmament concerns breakout scenarios and the challenge of enforcement Harold Brown and John Deutch for example have argued that p roliferating states even if they abandoned these devices under resolute international pressure would still be able to clandestinely retain a few of their existing weapons or maintain a standby break out capability to acquire a few weapons quickly if needed 21 The breakout problem however applies to both new potential proliferators and former NWS that have disarmed in a nuclear free world Thomas Schelling and Charles Glaser have made similar arguments about the instability of small numbers fearing nuclear use would be more likely at the final stages of disarmament or after nuclear disarmament occurs because states would engage in arms races to get nuclear weapons in any subsequent crisis and the winner in any such arms race would use its nuclear weapons with less fear of nuclear retaliation 22 These are legitimate concerns and addressing the challenges of verification and enforcement of disarmament should be a high priority for future disarmament efforts How can a vision of shared responsibility between the NWS and NNWS help address these vexing problems First NWS and NNWS should work together to punish the violators of currently existing nonproliferation agreements North Korea violated its NPT commitments by secretly taking nuclear material out of the Yongbyon reactor complex in the 1990s and by covertly starting a uranium enrichment program with the assistance of Pakistan Iran similarly was caught in violation of its NPT safeguards agreement in 2002 when the covert Natanz enrichment facility was discovered and evidence of nuclear weapons related research was later released by the U S intelligence community Finally Syria was caught violating its NPT commitments in 2007 when Israeli intelligence discovered a covert nuclear reactor under construction More consistent pressure by all five permanent members of the UN Security Council the P5 are the United States Russia China France and the United Kingdom should be matched by more uniform support by the NNWS at the IAEA and in the UN Security Council to create stronger resolutions condemning these violations and imposing sanctions on the violators Such a display of shared responsibilities would both help resolve these proliferation crises and set better precedents for future challenges Second the NNWS and NWS need to work together more effectively to reduce the risks of nuclear weapons breakout in the future To help deter withdrawal from the NPT the

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=932 (2016-02-13)
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  • The Scope of the Transition - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    taking it seriously Climate change can drive a fundamental transition in the energy system because limiting its effects means driving the emission of greenhouse gases nearly to zero over the span of a few decades Doing so would require sharply limiting the use of fossil fuels on which more than 80 percent of today s energy system depends And that in turn would set off a sweeping transition of one of the most extensive technologically complex and deeply embedded elements of the nation s physical infrastructure the national energy system This is not news Many careful analyses of how to manage climate change have documented the extent of the physical transition involved 1 But the essays in this issue focus instead on an equally profound but less examined transition that is the far reaching societal transition that must accompany transformation of the physical energy system The energy system is not simply a collection of autonomous pieces of plug and play technology Rather it is an integral part of our individual lives influencing where we live and shop shaping how we establish social networks and molding countless other everyday habits Powerful industrial enterprises exist to produce transport and use energy often these market incumbents wield considerable political influence And large government bureaucracies at local state national and supranational levels have evolved to monitor the system s operation and regulate its behavior If the energy system itself changes then all these individual and institutional links to it will have to change too A useful way to gauge the magnitude of the task is to consider the budget for the quantity of greenhouse gases that can be safely emitted into the atmosphere The budget analogy applies because carbon dioxide the chief greenhouse gas is very long lived once it gets into the atmosphere it stays there for decades if not centuries Several studies including one in this volume conclude that we have used up a good deal of the emissions budget already and that to continue emissions at current rates would absorb the rest of it in a few decades after which time the emission of greenhouse gases would have to be essentially zero 2 Given the scale of the energy system however a few decades is not a very long time to overhaul it to the point where it emits essentially no greenhouse gases To be sure important scientific uncertainties exist about the pace at which temperatures would increase for any given concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere But it is difficult to come up with a high probability scenario that does not exhaust the emissions budget by roughly 2050 For this reason dealing with climate change means changing the energy system with a speed that has rarely been seen in the past The associated societal change turns out to be hard as well The contributors to this volume discuss the role that public opinion opposition to change by incumbent institutions and scientific timidity all play in erecting barriers to forging

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  • Message from the Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    the National Science Foundation NSF a multidisciplinary social science research program that will provide critical information and support for policy development that advances diffusion of innovative energy technologies 1 In that same report PCAST also recommended DOE undertake its first Quadrennial Technology Review QTR before the government embarks on a multiagency Quadrennial Energy Review QER for a national energy policy Completed in September 2011 the QTR discusses the current energy landscape the challenges we face Six Strategies for accelerating energy technology innovation three in the transport sector and three in the stationary sector and DOE s three modes of operation harnessing capability pushing technology and serving as a source of information or a convener Currently DOE has inadequate information on how consumers interact with the energy system or how firms decide in which technologies to invest The social sciences are the most important to the information role and there is good reason to believe that insights from this area would improve the prospects for success in DOE s efforts to move technologies toward commercialization As a start on such studies the Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy is funding Stanford University s H STAR Institute and Precourt Energy Efficiency Center to develop an interactive software system to better understand energy efficiency and human behavior The QTR asserts that the aggregated actions of individuals and organizations determine many aspects of the energy system with demands on the system and the balance of supply and demand affected as much by individual choice preference and behavior as by technical performance 2 Energy Secretary Steven Chu has affirmed the importance of integrating applied social science into DOE s technology programs in order to better understand how technologies diffuse through a sector and are used in the real world The five strategies and the specific actions recommended in this report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences align with DOE s capacity as a convener and highlight areas in which DOE can draw upon its role as a source of information A strong partnership between DOE and NSF in creating and supporting an ongoing dialogue among technologists policy communities social scientists federal agencies local governments and regulatory communities would be tremendously valuable in this endeavor NSF s recently released Sustainable Energy Pathways solicitations call for teams of researchers including social scientists to address sustainable energy My discussions with the NSF leadership show eagerness for DOE and NSF to move ahead together on developing interdisciplinary systems approaches to energy I would like to acknowledge Bob Fri Leslie Berlowitz and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for taking the initiative to answer the PCAST call to action by organizing the Workshop on Social Science and the Alternative Energy Future held on May 19 20 2011 This workshop is an exemplar of the Academy s role in convening the different parts of the federal government and in stimulating interactions among a variety of actors The workshop catalyzed discussion among thought leaders in the field who shared ideas

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  • Acknowledgments - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    Acknowledgments The American Academy of Arts and Sciences project on the Alternative Energy Future is examining the legal social and economic implications and challenges of transitioning to a greater reliance on cleaner energy technologies Changing the existing technological infrastructure will require modifications to legal social and economic structures as well However many of the societal considerations underlying these necessary changes have not been adequately addressed To assess how the social sciences could help address these considerations and inform energy policies and decisions the Academy convened a diverse group of experts from industry government and academia at a workshop in Washington D C on May 19 20 2011 We are indebted to the workshop participants who enthusiastically embraced the task at hand to identify many priorities for future social science research and for new collaborations between social scientists and policy makers A diverse expert steering group oversaw the design of the workshop and worked diligently to distill the participants suggestions into the strategies and recommendations presented in this report This steering group included Steve Ansolabehere Doug Arent Ann Carlson Tom Dietz Kelly Sims Gallagher Granger Morgan Maxine Savitz Paul Stern Jim Sweeney and Mike Vandenbergh Special thanks go to John Randell Hellman Fellow and Program Associate for Science Policy at the Academy who organized the workshop and with the assistance of the Academy s editorial team coordinated the drafting and production of this report The workshop was funded by the Department of Energy DOE and the National Science Foundation NSF and we are deeply grateful for the support and guidance of Steve Koonin Cora Marrett and Myron Gutmann We would also like to thank Holmes Hummel Cynthia Lin and Linda Blevins at DOE and Rita Teutonico at NSF for their many helpful suggestions It is our hope that this report will

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  • Introduction - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    Academy convened representatives from academia industry and government in Washington D C on May 19 and 20 2011 to discuss how social science research and expertise can speed the adoption of new energy technologies The workshop was chaired by Robert W Fri a Fellow of the American Academy Visiting Scholar and Senior Fellow Emeritus at Resources for the Future and Project Director for the Academy s Alternative Energy Future project Fri noted that the workshop was designed to begin the conversation between the energy policy community and the social science research community in order to identify steps to help ease the adoption of new energy technologies and to outline a future research agenda Steven E Koonin a Fellow of the American Academy and Under Secretary for Science at theU S Department of Energy DOE provided a foundation for the workshop discussion by highlighting six general strategies for transforming the energy system to enhance energy security improve American competitiveness and reduce environmental impacts Figure I 1 Successful transformation of the energy system via these six strategies will require extensive diffusion of innovative technologies and practices throughout the economy However individual household commercial and community behavior will affect the acceptance of these technologies and diffusion of innovations throughout society can also be slowed by institutional rigidity The American Academy workshop presented solid evidence that the social sciences can help address these challenges and highlighted several existing social science applications that could be applied immediately to make energy policy and programs more effective see sidebars in chapter 2 In addition the workshop raised a number of issues on which further social and behavioral research would be productive and generated ideas for strengthening the linkages between social scientists and energy policy analysts program managers and decision makers Figure I 1 Six strategies to address

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  • Chapter 1: Strategies for Strengthening Energy Policy through the Social Sciences - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    adoption of the technology The studies would also be used to inform design of the technologies with adoption in mind This strategy would facilitate the integration of social and behavioral science into the technology design process especially with the hiring of relevant social science expertise DOE and NSF along with the American Academy should create or support a forum for ongoing dialogue among policy makers the private sector and social science researchers to share expertise on innovation and on technology adoption at the individual and community levels The private sector is the principal actor in diffusing new technology and practices in the energy sector and its experience will be crucial for identifying societal obstacles to diffusion and for implementing social science methods to remove them For example industry experience in using marketing techniques to promote technology adoption could be readily applied to government programs Private sector experience with innovation also offers lessons for the creation of regulatory frameworks that are adaptive and encourage innovation Conversely existing social science research on innovation and on community based approaches to technology deployment will be useful to both companies and government agencies This step is also consistent with the intent of the QER The design and outcomes of energy programs and policies should be evaluated to determine both their policy and cost effectiveness and the underlying reasons for these results including the roles of behavioral and regulatory barriers To facilitate this effort DOE should develop a common framework for evaluating pilot programs for technology adoption including not only experiments sponsored by DOE but experiments sponsored by utilities and other private institutions Relevant topics for study include the effect of policy framing on the success of outreach efforts and the efficacy of informational educational or behavioral interventions as compared to regulatory interventions Strategy 3 Build capacity for connecting the energy policy and social science communities Despite decades of awareness of the societal issues related to energy energy policy makers and social scientists do not have a history of close collaboration Bringing these communities together on substantive issues will build the bridges necessary to make effective use of the social sciences over the long haul Meeting this objective will involve the previous two strategies because the policy and research and development communities will first need to be persuaded that the social sciences and especially the behavioral sciences hold value for policy and technology development Needed is both more research that is useful to energy policy and an increased human capacity to conduct and apply social science research Lines of communication must be developed between researchers and the audience for this research including industry private foundations and state and federal policy makers A major barrier to academic research on energy issues is the lack of rewards for applied social science research A widespread perception among the academic social science community is that applied research is not valued in promotion decisions including tenure decisions Suggested steps DOE should enhance its organizational capacity to adopt social science knowledge within

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  • Chapter 2: Workshop Summary - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    persuade people to participate in energy conservation efforts Some research suggests that providing financial incentives can have the opposite effect leading people to feel that because they are willing to pay extra they are justified in using more energy For this reason an approach based on intrinsic values is often more effective at encouraging participation More research is also needed on how to reduce the rebound effect where consumers offset the financial savings from energy conservation by using more energy for other activities Session B Public acceptance of new energy technology Chair Douglas Arent Executive Director Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis National Renewable Energy Laboratory Panelists Juliana Birkhoff Vice President of Programs and Practice RESOLVE Jeanne Fox Commissioner New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Jennifer Layke Director Institute for Building Efficiency Johnson Controls Inc Eugene Rosa Professor of Sociology Washington State University This session addressed the challenges related to acceptance of new energy technologies that introduce new factors into collective decision making both within communities and among institutions Panelists presented industry academic and public policy perspectives highlighting the complexities of the social dimensions of adopting new energy technology solutions and addressed such issues as privacy equity and individual rights The panel discussion examined broader issues relating to civil society including factors and strategies that strengthen public acceptance of energy efficiency and new generation technologies Panelists noted that a substantial body of research is available on the impact of effective public engagement on policy development and on the reasons for the dearth of public participation in government decision making Speakers also highlighted many examples of successful dialogues between government industry and the public Trust is critical to any dialogue But citizens tend not to trust government indeed the level of trust in government agencies has been in decline for several decades The reasons for this lack of trust include the perception that governments do not tell the truth and are incompetent to carry out programs effectively Trust is easy to lose gaining it back is difficult Another barrier to building trust is the fact that perceptions of costs and benefits differ for individuals and groups and these perceptions also differ from those held by scientific authorities Public participation in decision processes nearly always builds trust and improves the outcome of those processes Public participation is particularly valuable in building support for science based decisions but requires clear and common goals ample planning and resources broad representation of interests and transparency about how models are developed Public involvement in policy development may fail in several ways to meet the standards suggested by current research First the collection of data relevant to the decision may not be coordinated with the dialogue with the result that when dialogue does happen the necessary data are unavailable or are out of date Second the public is often involved at too late a stage in the process when it is too late to have a conversation about the overall goals of the policy or program Third the dialogue may not include all stakeholders an outcome that is often the result of following a narrowly crafted model for public participation that fails to include all interests Finally many government agencies possess insufficient capacity to plan and execute a productive public outreach program a problem that can be compounded by institutional skepticism regarding the usefulness of such programs Public Engagement on Offshore Wind A Success Story from New Jersey A large body of research explores the impact of effective public engagement on technology adoption but application of this research within technology deployment programs has been limited Public outreach programs often fail to include a broad representation from all sectors and agencies lack the capacity to adequately involve the public in decision making on issues such as the siting of new generation facilities In an example of a successful public engagement effort the state of New Jersey held public meetings in the spring of 2005 in the four counties bordering the Atlantic Ocean to receive input on pending proposals for offshore wind farms Much of the initial reaction was negative even from interests as diverse as the fishing industry and the New Jersey Audubon Society The state then embarked on a successful outreach program and commissioned studies on predicted economic impacts and the risks to migrating birds This outreach effort generated widespread public support for offshore wind Cape May fishermen even formed a group called Fisherman s Energy to bid for offshore wind leases In April 2011 the state granted permits to Fisherman s Energy to build New Jersey s first demonstration scale offshore wind farm to be located in the waters off Atlantic City Nevertheless third party intermediaries have facilitated successful and productive dialogues between the public and policy makers Among numerous examples are the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative the Nuclear Power Joint Fact Finding Dialogue and the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures Public acceptance of new practices or technologies can be increased in several ways by emphasizing usefulness by imposing government mandates by offering financial incentives and by touting social image Additional factors considered by public utility commissioners and other regulators include political considerations special interest groups and the impact on ratepayers Utilities by contrast focus on the bottom line and are thus hesitant to adopt technologies that do not increase profits even if they are seen to serve the public good To get utilities on board often requires the provision of additional incentives or offsetting revenue One mechanism is to decouple revenues from sales for example by financially rewarding utilities for investing in renewable energy The leading factor in technology adoption by companies is the potential cost reductions achievable through those technologies This is particularly true for building technologies Other factors include reputation gains greenhouse gas reductions government policies and government incentives A less important factor that is nonetheless growing in importance is employee retention greener buildings are seen as fostering more attractive workplaces and organizations Given these drivers what factors increase the likelihood that building technologies will be adopted In the government sector standardized contracts and General Services Administration and Federal Emergency Management Program procurement guidelines play a large role in achieving energy efficiency goals and provide a venue for collecting feedback on the effectiveness of technologies and regulations Energy performance contracting provides an additional means to bundle many technologies together under a single program while financing improvements through third party mechanisms Energy performance contracting whereby third party service providers install efficiency or other carbon reduction technologies with a guaranteed return on investment is increasingly common in both government and academic sectors Colleges and universities are especially attractive locations for large scale efficiency improvements because of the high level of technology interest and expertise on campuses a prevailing sense of progress and social good and the ability to do the long term planning necessary for deep retrofits with long payback periods In the commercial sector where the general perception is that low carbon technologies particularly renewable energy are not cost effective technology acceptance dramatically increases when companies in a peer group engage in facilitated dialogue which allows them to learn from one another s experiences how to overcome behavioral and technical barriers Major barriers include financing hurdles lack of capacity to evaluate technologies and uncertainty in project design and evaluation Other needs include providing data in a format that is useful to decision makers and research on how best to accomplish this goal The likelihood that any given technology will be accepted in the marketplace is small and common psychological and social factors determine the acceptance of both large complex technologies and smaller individually matched technologies Such factors include psychological overload framing effects interpersonal influence social status and trust These influences on consumer decision making run counter to the commonly used rational actor model which holds that individuals make rational decisions on technology use based on in depth analysis of all relevant information and the costs and benefits of all available options In reality individuals often make decisions on the basis of incomplete information or the advice of trusted but nonexpert acquaintances Particularly for large complex technologies such as power plants the research literature demonstrates that experts and laypeople often have divergent perceptions of risk One reason is that experts emphasize quantitative considerations while laypeople emphasize qualitative features The gap between lay and expert understanding of complex systems is growing and thus an ever increasing level of trust in experts is required of the public One study found that the French and American publics have similar perceptions of the risks of nuclear power yet exhibit vastly different levels of support because of differing trust levels Survey data show that public trust in almost every major American institution has declined since the 1960s A key concept that has developed in recent years is that experts and the general public should collaborate in an analytic deliberative process to assess risk in technology and policy development Given the paucity of social science expertise in government agencies participants asked how the social science community could assist policy makers in identifying high quality social science research Professional facilitators can help but only if policy makers know what goal they are trying to achieve Participants concluded that the research on public participation provides clear direction on how to design successful participatory processes that educate both the public and the experts incorporate local knowledge reduce misinformation and build trust Session C Incorporating behavior in policy analytic tools Chair James Sweeney Professor of Management Science and Engineering Stanford University Panelists Alan Krupnick Research Director Senior Fellow and Director Center for Energy Economics and Policy Resources for the Future John A Skip Laitner Director of Economic and Social Analysis American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Holmes Hummel Senior Policy Advisor for Policy and International Affairs U S Department of Energy This panel built on the previous two discussions to examine how individual and institutional attitudes and behavior could be more effectively integrated into available tools for developing policy with special attention to how energy economic modeling could incorporate actual behavior patterns Panel chair Jim Sweeney noted the need to improve both the existing mathematical models and also our mental models of causality In both cases these models are currently dominated by the role of technology engineering and economics with behavioral science being underrepresented Although economists focus on price other factors also influence decision making Modeling has two general approaches both of which have strengths and deficiencies Top down models embody the principle that economic actors seek maximum economic benefits but in treating the economy in an aggregative manner these models miss many details about individual technologies Bottom up models contain a wealth of information about individual technologies but do not always fit with actual economic data In both cases economists tend to focus not on energy quantities but on overall welfare how well off are people economically However several commonly cited metrics for economic prosperity including gross domestic product GDP job growth and energy quantities may not be the best measures of social welfare Although economics is fundamentally a behavioral science several aspects of behavior are difficult to incorporate into economic modeling One issue is the paucity of data for new technologies and the often poor quality of data on old technologies For example the supply curve for extracting natural gas is poorly understood A second problematic aspect of modeling behavior relates to the difficulty of modeling capital investments and innovation A third problem is the wide variation in data on phenomena such as how consumers respond to energy price increases One concern that is often expressed during debates about energy policy is the potential for a large future gap between energy supply and energy demand However participants noted that a tenet of economic theory is that rising energy prices will stimulate innovation on both the supply side and the demand side Thus energy modeling could potentially be improved in several areas Much research needs to be done on improving both top down and bottom up economic models top down models need to incorporate more detail whereas bottom up models need more calibration with real world data More research is also needed on how to model imperfect compliance with and enforcement of regulations and on how to incorporate lessons from other behavioral sciences into economic models A specific case of how energy models do not predict real world behavior is the efficiency paradox or efficiency gap which describes the failure of individuals and institutions to adopt energy efficiency practices that are financially beneficial Although the efficiency paradox is commonly described as a market failure it exists at least in part because of hidden costs associated with energy efficiency for example the poorer quality light emitted by high efficiency lightbulbs Economic theory holds that government intervention is justified in the case of market failure but not in the case of hidden costs Another problem posed by the use of highly detailed models is false precision how should modelers sort out meaningful results from background noise A solution might be to rely more on conceptual models that focus on fundamental aspects of the energy system although these too will pose problems that require a more detailed analysis such as comparing various proposals for a clean energy standard to determine which would be most effective A single model should be used to compare different policies to provide the most useful conclusions regarding the relative predicted efficacy of those policies At the same time comparison of results from multiple models can help reduce errors or biases incorporated into a single model Finally and critically models must be kept up to date This is a particularly difficult problem for models developed outside of government One speaker asserted that significantly improving energy efficiency through informed attitudes and behaviors would have a profound impact on American prosperity This statement is based on a finding that from 1950 to 1980 the efficiency of converting energy production to work increased by 1 4 percent per year with the economy growing an average of 2 25 percent per year Since 1980 by contrast this efficiency has declined by 1 percent per year and the economy has grown much more slowly than in the previous thirty years However other participants questioned both the data and the implied direction of causality Desirable behavioral changes will result from changes in attitudes and motivations not vice versa For example technology adoption is affected not only by price but also by payback time From the consumer standpoint payback time can be measured as a discount rate what annual return in energy savings do consumers require before they will use a technology Because this rate is profoundly affected by behavioral considerations social science research can provide guidelines on how to reduce it so the up front cost of energy efficiency becomes less of a deterrent A reduction in the discount rate would lower the carbon price required to drive technological or behavioral change illustrating the importance of including consumer behavior and preferences in policy analyses Behavioral parameters can and are being integrated into economic models however although ample data exist on behavior these data are not readily available to economic modelers Panelists noted the critical need for more coordination on data collection and data assessment in order to organize data so they can be readily inserted into existing models Modelers may respond to the problem of insufficient behavioral data by omitting behavioral considerations entirely while nevertheless incorporating overly optimistic estimates of future technological innovation In such cases the output of the models will likely overweight the potential of unproven technologies such as carbon capture and storage CCS or hydrogen fuel cells while underweighting the potential of energy efficiency technologies such as controls for building lighting In general most economic models including the widely used National Energy Modeling System are relatively insensitive to behavioral changes resulting in a bias in selecting which policies receive further consideration by policy makers This problem is compounded by an emphasis among policy makers on using technical improvement metrics as a measure of policy success Two general cases where policy makers could benefit from more input from social scientists are in understanding and managing society s tolerance for risk to human health and welfare from new technologies such as natural gas hydraulic fracturing and in developing tools to calculate and demonstrate to the public the societal benefits of these technologies A specific area of concern is technology commercialization and participants noted the key role that the social sciences could play in solving the so called valley of death between technology development and technology deployment a persistent problem that is not due solely to market failures and can not be entirely explained by standard neoliberal economic theories A difficulty in studying any of these cases is that they concern the policies of many government agencies each of which is primarily concerned with evaluating its own policies rather than the interaction of policies across government A common theme throughout this session was the paucity of economic analysis on the costs and benefits of various behavioral interventions in the energy system One reason for the lack of data may be the difficulty of applying economic theories that are based on a certain understanding of the relationship between prices and costs to situations where that relationship does not apply Also many factors pertaining to the commercial sector have yet to be integrated into economic modeling including how manufacturers determine the best timing for capital improvements and the impact of innovative financing mechanisms such as third party financing on institutional behavior and decision making The session closed with a discussion of whether the research community should focus on developing new economic models to account for behavior or should instead concentrate on modifying existing models Although a large body of social science research could be applied to economic modeling little funding is available for model development Participants noted that integrated policy assessment models require millions of dollars and several years to develop and only a few successful models have been developed These observations suggest that the best approach may be to reengineer existing models to be more sensitive to consumer choice and behavior Session D Policy durability and adaptability Chair Kelly Sims Gallagher Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy Tufts University Panelists Kevin Carroll Chief of the Energy Branch Office of Management and Budget Margo T Oge Director Office of Transportation and Air Quality U S Environmental Protection Agency Philip R Sharp President Resources for the Future This session examined the extent to which policy durability and adaptability will be necessary to achieve an alternative energy future Government officials and experts discussed the tension between the provision of consistent and long term signals and the need to make policy responsive to new information Participants also explored the complications that stem from relying on quick fixes for enduring energy problems The session opened with the observation that other countries are being more innovative than the United States in experimenting with how to construct durable and adaptable energy policies The United States could learn from these efforts Panelists also underscored the difference between durable policies and the indefinite provision of subsidies For example predictability in energy policy can be achieved through the planned phase out of subsidies Speakers described several attributes that contribute to policy sustainability These attributes group into two general categories either the policy is affordable and effective with broad consensus or the policy is driven by a group of motivated stakeholders with little vocal opposition and infrequent review or oversight Sustainability moreover implies general agreement about the nature of the problem being addressed Agreement on energy issues however is often difficult to realize Finally policy durability can be negatively affected by unforeseen negative consequences if those consequences outweigh the benefits of the policy Liquid biofuels were cited as a relevant area of concern Available policy tools include discretionary tools such as government research and development funding or loan guarantees and mandatory programs such as taxation tax credits and regulations An important quality to consider when evaluating policies is whether their scale can change as the magnitude of the problem changes Such policies are self extinguishing as the problem is overcome the program ends without intervention from policy makers This approach reduces unnecessary intervention in the market and also provides regulatory certainty to technology investors A major challenge for any policy is that the energy supply in the United States has been cheap and abundant for much of recent history and any alternative fuel must be similarly inexpensive to be considered a valid alternative by a broad section of the populace This is particularly true for automobiles where petroleum based gasoline has been the dominant fuel for over a century and automobile use is an ingrained aspect of American culture An important question is thus how will the public respond to advanced energy technologies and how willing is it to pay a premium for those technologies One institutional barrier is the number of agencies that exert regulatory influence on the transportation sector including DOE the Department of Transportation EPA and the state of California An important recent development was the exercising of presidential authority to direct federal agencies to collaborate in crafting a revised Corporate Average Fuel Economy CAFE standard and to direct EPA to allow California to move ahead with more progressive standards for its own vehicle fleet Why do more consumers not demand greater fuel efficiency given that for an additional up front cost of 900 or less they could realize 3 000 in fuel savings over the life of the car This reluctance is particularly surprising in the commercial freight sector Complicating factors include the difficulty of estimating fuel savings the inherent complexity of the vehicle purchasing process and the many competing attributes that consumers look for in a vehicle Panelists discussed three major realities that impact energy policy First energy markets are huge and global in nature with oil being an especially fungible commodity As a result the United States has little ability to affect the price of energy through policy development The U S government also exerts little direct control over energy markets within the United States Most government policies are aimed at influencing private investments for example through loan guarantees or tax incentives Finally where direct government authority does exist it is distributed among the three branches of government and among the federal state and local levels Even within a given government institution the goals are constantly changing to reflect political considerations thereby complicating the creation of durable energy policies The discussion period explored more deeply the question of what constitutes a durable policy Participants discussed whether it is inconsistent to say that regulations are inherently durable when organized opposition to them is often substantial these two conditions may be mutually incompatible Speakers suggested that organized opposition can be countered by general public support as is the case for the Clean Air Act A related issue is whether one can demonstrate to those opposed to a given policy that the policy is in their best interest Participants discussed the specific example of production tax credits for wind power Economists generally feel that a structured phase out of production tax credits would be beneficial for the wind industry but the industry generally opposes this policy One panelist suggested the problem is that rapid political turnover means an emphasis on short term goals short election cycles foster an attitude of take what you can get when you can get it A critical aspect of establishing a durable and effective policy is to ensure an organized persistent third party evaluation of its effectiveness in achieving the stated goals in a cost effective manner Policy evaluation has been inconsistent and one area of research might be to explore how to create a comprehensive framework that could be applied to all policies Regulations tend to endure while policies with budget implications taxes and incentives for instance do not Examples of enduring regulations include CAFE standards and the 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act PURPA although in both of these cases effectiveness has waned over time as technology has caught up with the standards While regulations can be strengthened through subsequent legislation a much easier approach is to ensure that regulators are given the power to bolster standards over time The panelists were pressed on how adaptability can be built into policy especially in cases such as CCS where the technical or in the case of CCS geologic constraints are poorly understood and will vary among the individual projects covered by the policy Citing the Clean Air Act as an example panelists described how regulators could update the definitions of terms such as pollutant as new scientific or technical information becomes available Policies can also include a requirement that regulators periodically update relevant standards to reflect technological progress or policies can be updated through subsequent legislation as with the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments Policies ought to be based on sound scientific information so they can adapt to new scientific knowledge The private sector should be asked to identify potential risks associated with a policy and to present proposed solutions to regulators as opposed to relying solely on regulators to identify problems and impose solutions on a resistant industry The former approach is more common in European countries e g Norway and the United Kingdom but some American examples exist as well The auto industry improved the efficiency of catalytic converters from 30 percent to 99 percent in the span of three decades and this improvement was largely the result of soliciting industry input on how government policies could stimulate technical improvements Industry input identified the sulfur content in fuels as being a major barrier and subsequent policies requiring low sulfur fuels permitted the development of higher efficiency converters A major problem in policy design is how to avoid unintended consequences a primary example being the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether MTBE to raise the oxygen content in gasoline and thus reduce pollutant emissions as was required by the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments MTBE was used despite general knowledge that this chemical presents a severe risk of groundwater contamination Because groundwater contamination is addressed through the Clean Water Act the Clean Air Act is not required to address this concern The example of MTBE demonstrates a problem of accountability if policy designers are not held accountable for unintended consequences those consequences will not be considered during policy development Session E Federalism Chair Ann Carlson Professor of Law University of California Los Angeles Panelists Barry Rabe Professor of Public Policy University of Michigan Marilyn Brown Professor of Public Policy Georgia Institute of Technology Paul Centolella Commissioner Public Utilities Commission of Ohio This panel addressed questions of how federalism relates to energy policy Key issues included legal and political obstacles to the effective implementation of energy policy the division of responsibility among the federal government states and localities and possible alterations to the allocation of power among these levels of government that would facilitate the transition to an alternative energy future Addressing energy challenges requires input from technologists physical scientists social scientists and policy analysts yet the presence of so many stakeholders can result in a diffusion of responsibility among these communities that impedes the creation of technological and policy solutions One approach to understanding how to deal with diffusion of responsibility is to examine the problem of scale Generally the proper scale of an intervention or policy is analyzed less than the type of intervention Environmental and energy policy is often dominated by the principle of subsidiarity problems should be addressed at the lowest possible level that is state or local as opposed to regional national or international For example water pollution issues are often best addressed by local policy action whereas climate change may be most effectively addressed at the international level Political realities often prevent action at a given level In the absence of effective federal policy governing for example building codes individual states have created their own laws Thus the establishment of building codes does not require a unified national policy but the resulting patchwork of building construction standards creates confusion among builders and necessitates a cadre of consultants to advise the industry on the practices of each state Another example renewable portfolio standards RPSs is discussed below Polycentric governance offers a mechanism with which to realize the benefits of multiple levels of policy action The dilemma in blending actions at different levels is that each scale presents different benefits The diversity of local actions fosters innovation flexibility and efficiency whereas state and especially federal actions offer economies of scale and discourage polluters from simply moving to the state with the fewest regulations Polycentric governance involves the simultaneous operation of energy and climate policies at many scales while engaging many stakeholders This approach provides backup policy mechanisms that offset imperfections that arise from intervention at a single level Challenges include the potential for policy redundancy or conflict and these issues must be dealt with on a case by case basis A larger challenge to polycentric governance is how to establish such a system Coordinating policies among states and localities requires federal governments to develop ways to compensate jurisdictions that suffer adverse consequences On global issues such as climate change state governments driven by anticipation of federal policy action are often the first to develop policies For instance many states developed RPSs in anticipation of international treaties regulating carbon emissions In a polycentric governance system these standards would combine with a federal carbon pricing regime to lower carbon emissions To date no such federal policy is in place One reason for this lack of action is that states through their representatives in Congress have different bargaining positions and seek different objectives including maximizing the benefits of their existing policies and procuring federal assistance for infrastructure improvements that may be necessitated by federal policy If U S energy policy is to remain state dominated in the near term what types of state policies will prove most effective As twenty years of policy experimentation among the fifty states demonstrate an inverse relationship exists between the economic desirability of a given type of carbon mitigation policy and its political viability Figure 2 1 The consensus in the economics literature is that carbon taxes are the most cost effective followed by cap and trade regimes RPSs are the least cost effective but have gained the greatest acceptance among state legislatures Cap and trade systems have been adopted less frequently No state has yet instituted a blanket carbon tax although twenty eight states have instituted a surcharge on electricity bills that funds renewable energy programs Although carbon pricing schemes do not enjoy universal political or public support applying revenues generated from such schemes to renewable energy research and development is broadly supported Figure 2 1 Relationship between economic desirability and political feasibility of three carbon reduction policies Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of states that had adopted each regulatory approach as of May 2011 Examples of polycentric governance Denmark s Electricity System From 1980 to 2004 Denmark lowered its per GDP carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 50 percent while simultaneously building the world s largest wind turbine export industry These achievements were made possible by a combination of taxes on emissions fuels and electricity investment subsidies and long term financing guarantees and regulatory support for small scale renewable energy generation and combined heat and power facilities Denmark s polycentric approach blends small scale decentralized community control with national standards and policies Germany s Feed in Tariff Germany s feed in tariff is often cited as a model for similar policies around the world In addition to providing a financial incentive for small scale renewable energy production German regulations provide for the participation of utilities while also requiring them to provide grid access to small generation facilities The feed in tariffs differ by energy source they are determined by each source s associated generation costs and are programmed to decrease over time in concert with expected cost reductions Germany s polycentric approach integrates residential and community producers of wind and solar energy with federal policy concerning tariffs and digression rates Brazil s Proálcool Program and Promotion of Flex Fuel Vehicles Brazil launched its National Alcohol Program Proálcool in 1975 As a result of this program ethanol production is now cost competitive with gasoline production in the absence of subsidies and the country has recouped its investment through large reductions in oil imports The program included mandates for blending ethanol with gasoline partnerships with automobile manufacturers to produce and promote flex fuel vehicles the use of gasoline taxes to subsidize the price of ethanol and partnerships with environmental groups to design regulations to protect rainforests and other environmentally sensitive land Singapore s Urban Transport Policy Singapore s urban transport policy employs a combination of approaches to reduce road congestion and improve air quality in this island city state including the world s first congestion pricing scheme subsequently expanded to cover a larger area certificate of entitlement auctions for vehicle ownership and the integration of land use and transportation planning Singapore s polycentric approach harnesses public private partnerships to operate mass transit systems and works with automobile manufacturers to equip vehicles with electronic road pricing devices Bangladesh s Grameen Shakti Grameen Shakti is a nonprofit company that provides microcredit based financing and technical assistance for rural renewable energy projects including solar photovoltaic and biogas installations and improved cook stoves A critical aspect of this initiative is the enrollment of local communities both in project financing and in maintaining the installations as well as the engagement of district and national policy makers international donors and lending firms The program has resulted in a large reduction in deforestation in Bangladesh which relies on trees and bamboo for nearly half of its energy The EPA Toxics Release Inventory The Toxics Release Inventory is a publicly available database containing annually updated information from industry groups and the U S government regarding releases of toxic chemicals in the United States A number of nongovernmental organizations were instrumental in establishing the database and improving public access to it The project is managed by the national government but facilities compile and report information on their own releases How would a federal RPS be instituted in the face of so many state RPS policies A large body of social science literature describes how the framing of a policy affects its public acceptance Across the political spectrum state policy makers tend to frame state RPS policies not in terms of energy or climate concerns but in terms of economic development and the potential to benefit from anticipated federal policies Although this framing could be useful for promoting a federal RPS it might be counterproductive if costs rise more than anticipated or if the RPS fails to deliver economic benefits to every state State public utility commissioners face challenges related to economic security energy security and cyber security A major economic challenge is the 1 5 2 trillion investment that will be needed over the next twenty years to replace aging infrastructure and to build new facilities to meet the anticipated growth in electricity demand Energy security will require greater diversity in energy sources particularly transportation fuels and mechanisms must be developed to defend the energy system against cyber attacks Short term concerns of maintaining an adequate energy supply and reasonable prices must be balanced against long term planning to improve the system over time and to adapt to changing environmental and market conditions Achieving the proper balance between short term and long term planning requires expanding the range of regulatory options and thinking about investment in a different way How can utilities foster innovation address market failures related to energy efficiency engage consumers on the question of dynamic electricity pricing and pursue smart grid technologies as a platform for innovation

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  • Chapter 3: Toward a Social Science Research Agenda on Energy - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    groups identified many research questions related to behavior and decision making policy analysis and energy regulations that have particular relevance to the near and long term challenges facing policy makers These questions group into three categories individual behavior decision making and technology acceptance incorporating human factors into policy design and analysis and policy development and governance Individual behavior decision making and technology acceptance Priority topics How can technologies for energy production and efficient use be designed to address and overcome social and behavioral barriers to their widespread use Answering this question will require understanding how people actually use and respond to household technologies such as smart meters and how this response differs from modeled behavior as well as how people think and act in relation to energy production technologies and their siting How could labels and certification programs be effectively designed to engage the intended users How could this knowledge be integrated into existing government programs On what bases do individuals and households make decisions about energy use How can we help people make informed decisions and how do people become motivated to take action How could public utilities best approach consumers on dynamic pricing structures and adoption of smart grid technologies Particularly useful would be an analysis of examples of effective and noneffective strategies for engaging the consumer at the local level on time of use electric billing and other pricing strategies Additional research questions How are energy related norms and behavior influenced by social networks What is the role and impact of energy policies and programs on underrepresented populations What is the relative effectiveness of informational intervention compared to regulatory intervention How should these types of intervention be combined to best promote beneficial behavior Incorporating human factors into policy design and analysis Priority topics How can behavioral research be better integrated into energy modeling What policy designs are highly effective in encouraging people and organizations to undertake actions that have major practical potential but require great effort on their part What behavioral changes have the greatest economic and technical potential What additional information is needed on the technical potential of various behavioral interventions Additional research questions How does the effectiveness of individual and institutional incentives vary among regions education levels and socioeconomic groups How can field experiments on individual and institutional behavior contribute to policy design In what areas is the need for new field experiments greatest Behavioral research on energy use is more abundant in Europe How can this research be applied to policy development in the United States Policy development and governance Priority topics What is the relative effectiveness of existing energy policies What tools should be developed to enable comparative policy analysis What mechanisms are available or could be created to facilitate effective polycentric governance mechanisms What is the role of government in the U S energy innovation system Additional research questions How can research on the management of common resources be applied to energy policy What guidelines can be developed for translating and scaling

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=1083 (2016-02-13)
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