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Press release (dated 20 September 2006)
Chapter 10: Summary and Next Steps
Climate change is a complex, long-term challenge. United States' climate change goals are consistent with and supportive of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which set an ultimate goal of stabilizing greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere at a level that avoids dangerous human interference with the climate system. There is international recognition that climate change concerns cannot be addressed in isolation from other pressing needs, such as economic development, energy security, and pollution reduction, especially in developing economies. Successfully addressing these complementary concerns will require the development and commercialization of advanced technologies, particularly, but not exclusively, those that have the potential to fundamentally alter the way we produce and use energy. It will also require a sustained, long-term commitment by all nations over many generations and a substantial degree of international cooperation.
It is within this broad context that the United States is pursuing a comprehensive strategy on climate change. This strategy includes implementing policies and measures to slow the growth of GHG emissions, investing in climate science to improve understanding of climate change and provide information to decision-makers, accelerating the development and adoption of energy and other technologies that reduce, avoid, or capture and sequester GHG emissions, and promoting international collaboration. In this way, the United States is working to ensure a bright and secure energy and economic future for the Nation and a healthy planet for future genertions (Figure 10-1).
Under the auspices of the Cabinet-level Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration (CCCSTI), the Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP), led by the Department of Energy (DOE), represents the technology component of this strategy. Authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, CCTP functions as a multi-agency planning and coordination entity. CCTP is charged with reviewing and prioritizing the Federal Government's climate-related technology programs. Its activities are guided by the CCCSTI and carried out by representatives of the participating R&D agencies. CCTP provides strategic direction for and coordinates an investment portfolio of climate-change related technology research, development, demonstration and deployment (R&D) of nearly $3 billion in Fiscal Year 2006.
10.1 SummaryThe CCTP Strategic Plan is an important milestone on the road to accelerating the development and adoption of advanced climate change technologies. The Plan articulates a vision for the role for advanced technology in addressing climate change concerns, provides a supporting long-term planning context with insights from analysis, and establishes goals, approaches, and guiding principles for Federal R&D agencies to use in formulating climate change-related technology components of their respective R&D portfolios.
CCTP's strategic vision is to attain, on a global scale and in partnership with others, a technological capability that can provide abundant, clean, secure, and affordable energy and other services needed to encourage and sustain economic growth, while simultaneously achieving substantial GHG emissions reductions to mitigate the potential risks of climate change from increasing GHG concentrations. To give substance to this vision, CCTP's portfolio pursues six complementary strategic goals: (1) reduce emissions from energy use and infrastructure; (2) reduce emissions from energy supply; (3) capture and sequester CO2; (4) reduce emissions of other GHGs; (5) measure and monitor emissions; and (6) bolster the contributions of basic science. The Plan outlines seven approaches to attain those goals, including next steps.
Long-Term Planning Under UncertaintyCCTP operates within a planning environment characterized by uncertainty. First, the complex relationships among population growth; economic development; energy demand, mix, and intensity; resource availability; technology advancement; and many other societal variables make it difficult to estimate with confidence future global GHG emissions over CCTP's long-term planning horizon. This creates uncertainty about the scope and scale of the technological challenge. Second, evolving climate science, as well as the uncertain nature of the (as yet undetermined) UNFCCC's stabilization objective, adds uncertainty about the appropriate pace of technology development. Finally, research and development itself is risky, such that the future readiness, cost, and performance characteristics of the many advanced technologies envisioned to facilitate GHG emissions reductions are unknown. This adds uncertainty about deployment and which, if any, technologies will ultimately emerge as successful.
Estimated Cumulative GHG Emissions Mitigation (GtC) from Accelerated Adoption of Advanced Technologies over the 21st Century, by Strategic Goal, Across a Range of Hypothesized GHG Emissions Constraints
Goals for Technology DevelopmentUncertainties notwithstanding, CCTP sets ambitious goals for technology development in each of its strategic areas. By addressing uncertainties systematically through analyses of options, or scenarios, under a range of varying assumptions, CCTP can illuminate its technological challenges in the form of bracketed insights regarding reductions or avoidances in GHG emissions, comparative costs, and the timing of significant technology adoption. These insights, in turn, can be used to guide R&D portfolio planning, as well as inform specific near-, mid- and long-term technological development objectives.
Regarding reductions or avoidances in GHG emissions, CCTP envisions significant contributions from the accelerated adoption of advanced technologies in each of its four emissions-reduction strategic goals.  Across a wide range of atmospheric GHG concentration levels and hypothesized emissions constraints (from "low" to "very high"), CCTP explored the potential contributions of three contrasting technological futures over a 100-year planning horizon. Table 10-1 provides a representative sample of the range of GHG emissions reductions, accumulated over this period, that may be possible should the promise of advanced technologies associated with these goals be realized (see Chapter 3).
Across all four goals, as well as among the many technologies within each goal, the accelerated adoption of advanced technologies is shown to be potentially capable of contributing significantly to GHG emissions reductions and avoidances. The underlying assumptions for technology performance can help inform long-term technology R&D planning and goal-setting. The significance of the potentials across all four goals suggests the importance of pursuing a diversified R&D portfolio.
Potential to Reduce Mitigation CostsCCTP analysis suggests that significant economic benefits could accrue, if advanced technologies with high emission mitigation potentials were to be successfully deployed. Figure 10-2 presents the results of a comparative analysis of the cumulative costs over the 21st century of GHG mitigation, with and without the accelerated adoption of advanced technologies, across a range of advanced technology scenarios and variously hypothesized GHG emissions constraints. The relative cost reductions are significant in all cases. As one would expect, the absolute cost reductions are more significant under the higher emissions constraints.  The results of modeling these hypothetical scenarios suggest the potential for advanced GHG-reducing technologies to reduce mitigation costs.
Considerations of TimingWith regard to considerations of timing and commercial readiness of the advanced technology options, insights were gained by analysis of the lowest cost solutions across a range of technology scenarios and hypothesized GHG concentration levels. Generally speaking, the lower the level of GHG concentrations hypothesized, the earlier the need for the commercial readiness of the advanced technologies.
Using the metric of when the first GtC per year of reduced or avoided GHG emissions could be achieved by the accelerated adoption of advanced technologies, across a range of assumptions, scenarios, and GHG emissions constraints, the analysis indicates that, in relative terms, advanced technologies for end-use energy efficiency contribute first, followed soon thereafter by technologies for mitigation of non-CO2GHGs, advanced energy supply technologies, and carbon capture, storage, and sequestration. The timing of such contributions for each CCTP strategic goal, however, may vary by decades depending on the GHG concentration level assumed, as shown in Table 10-2. Allowing for capital stock turnover and other inertia inherent in the global energy system and infrastructure, it is noted that for advanced technologies to achieve one GtC per year, they would need to be available in the commercial marketplace and gaining market share years before the periods indicated on Table 10-2.
Estimated Timing of Advanced Technology Market Penetrations, as Indicated by the First GtC-Eq./Year of Incremental Emissions Mitigation , by Strategic Goal, Across a Range of Hypothesized GHG Emissions Constraints
Strategies for Technology Development and DeploymentIn Chapters 4 through 7, the Plan lays out dozens of technology-specific strategies for research and development for key technologies including, where appropriate, strategies for technology deployment that show promise for realizing such gains. In Chapter 8, the Plan addresses the cross-cutting technology area for measuring and monitoring GHG emissions. For each technology area, the Plan examines the role that advanced technologies can play in contributing to each CCTP strategic goal, establishes strategic direction for R&D, highlights current R&D activities, and identifies promising directions for future research. A thematic timeline for technology development, evolution and adoption is provided for each of these five CCTP strategic goals.
Climate Change Technology Development and Deployment for the 21st Century 
Figure 10-3 presents an integration of these five timelines, for the near-, mid-, and long-terms. In general, advanced technologies appear in the figure at the point where commercialization is achieved and a favorable investment environment supports their adoption. Although many technologies are shown, only those that offer cost-effective options, compared to their competitors, would achieve significant market representation.
In the near-term (in less than 20 years), the CCTP strategy envisions commercial readiness, such that significant market entry can occur, by hybrid cars, high-efficiency buildings and industrial processes, selected technologies to capture, store and sequester CO2, coal-based integrated gasification-combined cycle power plants, and methane capture and use technologies. In the mid-term (20 to 40 years later), the early technologies would be followed by significant market shares of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, "smart" buildings, transformational technologies for energy intensive industries, improved CO2capture, methane emission reductions, and advanced nuclear energy In the long-term, such technologies would be improved and extended more broadly and more advanced technologies would enter the marketplace. Ultimately, societies could see extensive adoption of low emissions infrastructure and communities, low emissions intelligent transport systems, wide-spread adoption of renewable energy and nuclear power, large scale adoption of zero-emission power plants with carbon sequestration, fusion power plants, and high levels of management of emissions of non-CO2GHGs.
Key InitiativesSince early 2002, when CCTP was first organized, there have been a number of portfolio realignments. Foremost among these has been the identification of key technology initiatives that advance multiple technology goals, such as enhancing energy security, reducing air pollution, and promoting economic growth and productivity, while also addressing important thrusts of CCTP strategic goals. These key initiatives complement a core portfolio of technologies in energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power (Figure 10-4), and highly efficient and clean use of coal (Figure 10-5). Although many of the key initiatives are not motivated exclusively by CCTP strategic goals, each is an important contributor to these goals. Collectively, they lend strategic focus and coherence to the many underlying research activities across programs within and among the agencies. They also give visibility to major technology thrusts and complement the regional and international partnerships. Key initiatives are mentioned throughout the Plan in their respective technology areas.  A current list of the key initiatives, with links to current programmatic information, may be found at the CCTP Web site. 
Contributions of Basic ScienceRegarding CCTP's Goal #6 to bolster basic science contributions to technology development, the Plan recognizes the critical importance of new knowledge in enabling and accelerating progress in the applied areas. Discoveries in biology, nanosciences, computational modeling and simulation, physical processes, and environmental sciences could result in important breakthroughs for both emissions-related technologies and in measuring and monitoring capabilities. Three strategic thrusts to be pursued by CCTP in basic science include: (1) conducting basic research in areas inspired by the technical challenges in applied climate change R&D; (2) carrying out an exploratory research on innovative concepts and enabling technologies that have great potential for breakthroughs; and (3) improving R&D planning and integrative R&D processes.
Emerging PrioritiesThe CCTP working groups plan to review regularly the adequacy of the CCTP portfolio to attain CCTP's strategic goals and, where needed, make recommendations to prioritize and strengthen the portfolio, as outlined in Chapter 2. Each goal encompasses many different technologies with varying degrees of GHG reduction potential, likelihood of technological and commercial success, and private sector interest and incentive to invest. CCTP must consider these factors, along with criteria presented in Section 2.4, when recommending priorities for Federal investment.
In this way the CCTP portfolio is strengthened on an ongoing basis. This has resulted in the realignment of the portfolio in certain areas, evidenced by changes in investment levels over time. Climate change strategy also has provided compelling rationales for entirely new or revamped programs. These are described in Chapters 4 through 9 in the current portfolio sections.
Within the overall CCTP portfolio, certain activities are identified as priorities associated with President's National Climate Change Technology Initiative (NCCTI). NCCTI priorities are defined as discrete research, development, demonstration, or deployment activities that address technological challenges that, if solved, could advance technologies with the potential to dramatically reduce, avoid, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. The NCCTI priorities appearing in the Fiscal Year 2007 budget request include, as ordered by strategic goal, the following:
2. Low wind speed technology, cellulosic biomass (Figure 10-6), biochemical platform R&D, hydrogen storage, nuclear hydrogen initiative, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), and advanced fuel cycle/advanced burner reactor (Strategic Goal 2).
3. Sequestration (Strategic Goal 3).
4. Methane partnership initiatives (Strategic Goal 4).
Also included among the NCCTI priorities is CCTP program support. Details on these activities can be found in Appendix B. Current and updated programmatic information in this regard may be found at the CCTP Web site.9
Advances in climate change science under the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) are expected to improve our knowledge of climate change so that its potential impacts and uncertainties about the causes and effects of climate change will be better understood. This will help to inform the potential risks and benefits of various courses of action. Similarly, advances in climate change technology under the CCTP are expected to bring forth an expanded array of advanced technology options that can meet a range of societal needs, including reducing GHG emissions, with better performance and lower costs. Improved options will enable and facilitate actions that may be called for and informed by science.
Finally, should widespread adoption of advanced climate change technologies be pursued, as guided by science, it would likely need to be supported by appropriate technology policy, potentially including market-based incentives. As Federal efforts to advance technology go forward, broadened participation by the private sector in these efforts will be increasingly important to accelerate both the innovation and the commercialization of advanced technologies.
Such participation can be encouraged by appropriate and supporting technology policy. This is evidenced today, in part, by a number of market-based incentives already in place, by others proposed by the Administration,  and by still others, as may be appropriate, to GHG-reducing technology investments, soon to be implemented in accord with the provisions of Title XIII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  Title XVI of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 sets the stage for future development of policies that would facilitate new technology adoption. CCTP will support CCCSTI in implementing the provisions of Title XVI. Additionally, CCTP will explore a number of technology policy options, as listed in its next steps below.
10.2 Next StepsCCTP's next steps focus on a number of broad thrusts. First, the CCTP will continue its coordinating role and provide support to CCCSTI and its IWG. These activities are expected to include multi-agency planning and analysis, portfolio reviews, interagency communications and information exchanges, technical assessments of research needs, and formulating and presenting recommendations. The CCTP will contribute its expertise and provide support to the CCCSTI and IWG as they address issues of climate change science and technology, weigh policies and priorities on related science and technology matters, make informed decisions, and make recommendations to the President and the agencies. Second, the CCTP will continue to work with and support the participating agencies in developing plans and carrying out activities needed to advance CCTP's vision, mission, and strategic goals. Third, CCTP anticipates opportunities to work with technical representatives of other countries to further international cooperation in related planning and program coordination, particularly on joint and multi-lateral technology initiatives.
CCTP intends to pursue specific activities to ensure progress toward achieving CCTP's strategic goals. These activities, organized by approach, are outlined below. CCTP does not expect to pursue all activities immediately, or simultaneously.
Strengthen Climate Change Technology R&D
Strengthen Basic Research Contributions
Enhance Opportunities for Partnerships
Increase International Cooperation
Support Cutting-Edge Technology Demonstrations
Ensure a Viable Technology Workforce of the Future
Provide Supporting Technology Policy
In carrying out these activities, and in accord with its management structure (Chapter 2), CCTP will be advised by the CCTP Steering Group, assisted by its multi-agency CCTP Working Groups, informed by inputs from varied sources, and supported by CCTP staff and resources. Results will be conveyed to the CCCSTI via the IWG. The CCTP also plans to issue periodically reports on its current activities, future plans, and research progress.
10.3 ClosingThe United States, in partnership with others, is now embarked on a near- and long-term global challenge, guided by science and facilitated by advanced technology, to address concerns about climate change and increasing concentrations of GHGs. This CCTP Strategic Plan is a first step toward guiding Federal investments in R&D to accelerate technologies that will address these concerns. The Plan will be updated periodically, as needed.
Footnotes1 A "very high constraint" scenario is associated with low GHG emissions and low GHG concentrations. A "low constraint" scenario is associated with higher GHG emissions and concentrations. 2 Source: Clarke et al. 2006, as described in Chapter 3. The 100-year cumulative values shown are consistent with Figure 3-19. Values have been rounded to the nearest 10 GtC. 3 Non-CO2GHGs include a diverse group of gases, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. They are expected to contribute as much as 20 percent to total radiative forcing throughout the 21st century. 4 In the associated analysis (Chapter 3), the cumulative costs over the 21st century are undiscounted. Accordingly, relative comparisons (percents) are likely to be more meaningful than those showing absolute costs. Variations among the advanced technology scenarios are shown by the shaded area in Figure 10-2. 5 The years shown in the table represent the period, according to the analysis (Chapter 3), in which the first GtC (or GtC-eq.) of incremental emissions reduction (below an assumed Reference Case) is projected to occur due to the lowest-cost, accelerated adoption of each class of advanced technology in any one of the advanced technology scenarios. The Reference Case, without advanced technology, includes significant penetration of energy-efficient end-use technologies, nuclear, renewable, and biomass energy, terrestrial sequestration and non-CO2emission reductions. The table shows ranges of values because results vary among the advanced technology scenarios. "Energy Supply" means net-zero or very low-emissions energy supply technologies. 6 Note: Technologies shown are representations of larger suites. With some overlap, "near-term" envisions significant technology adoption by 10–20 years from present, "mid-term" in a following period of 20–40 years, and "long-term" in a following period of 40–60 years. See also List of Acronyms and Abbreviations. 7 See also CCTP Vision and Framework for Strategy and Planning (2005). 8 For CCTP-related Key Initiatives. 9 For NCCTI priorities, see: http://www.climatetechnology.gov. 10 Federal Climate Change Expenditures Report to Congress, April 2006. 11 Financial incentives in Title XIII for technologies related to climate change goals are scored at more than $11 billion over 10 years. 12 The current bilateral agreements are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Central America, Germany, the EU, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and South Africa. The countries included in the Central American agreement, apart from the United States, are: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. 13 The countries are, in alphabetical order, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States. The G8 meetings often include the European Commission. 14 The Asia Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate was announced in July 2005. Six countries are participating, namely: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.