Office of Science and Technology Policy
|For Immediate Release
August 19, 1999
Dr. Joan Porter
Dr. John Holdren
Committee on Science and Technology Finds
Worldwide Energy Demand ‘Potentially Disastrous'
Makes Clean Technology and Efficiency Investments
D.C. -- A report released today by the President's Committee of Advisors on
Science and Technology (PCAST) concludes that projected growth in energy usage
worldwide could be ‘potentially disastrous' for the environment and calls
for greater public and private investment by the United States in clean energy
technology, in cooperation with international partners.
the same time, the report, notes that U.S. firms would greatly benefit from such
investments, helping them capture much of the $10 trillion which will be spent
worldwide for energy supply technologies over the next 20 years.
John Holdren of Harvard University and Chair of the PCAST Energy Panel said,
"The world faces more severe air pollution, greater oil insecurity, heightened
threat of global climatic changes, and increased nuclear proliferation risks
unless we increase investments in international cooperation on clean energy
technology and efficiency now."
Panel found that world energy demand is likely to soar in the next century to
four times today's level.
Reductions in projected energy demand would not happen, the panel said,
unless innovation to increase energy end-use efficiency and to improve energy
supply technologies is both rapid and global.
Neal F. Lane, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Co Chair
of PCAST, said, "Tremendous export markets will develop for advanced fossil
fuel, renewable, and other clean energy technologies in the very near future.
U.S. firms can position themselves to capture a much larger portion of
those markets if government and industry make the right decisions now."
the report finds that the choices the U.S. makes today on research, development,
and deployment opportunities will influence the evolution of the global energy
system for many decades, and have a tremendous impact on efforts to fight global
warming, air pollution, oil insecurity and other problems energy use will cause.
report was prepared in response to a request from President Clinton to identify
ways to improve the U.S. program of international cooperation on energy R&D
to best support our nation's priorities and address the key global energy and
environmental challenges of the next century.
PCAST panel which produced the report identified four sets of initiatives to
help address these problems, requiring an additional government investment of
about $250 million per year in FY2001, increasing to $500 million more per year
in FY2005. The
recommended initiatives include:
Strengthening energy-related education and training; supporting regional
centers for energy research and employment; promoting energy sector reform that
attracts private capital while protecting the public interest; and creating
mechanisms to assist competitive demonstration, cost-reduction, and financing of
advanced energy technologies;
Developing and promoting technologies to halve the energy use of new
buildings, build the factories of the 21st century, improve the efficiency of
small vehicles and buses, and increase cogeneration of electricity and heat;
Developing and promoting cleaner energy supply technologies, particularly
biomass, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources, more efficient fossil
fuel systems, technologies to capture and store carbon, and nuclear fission and
Improving management of the Federal portfolio, including greater use of
external peer review.
PCAST panel responsible for the report is made of a diverse group of experts
from industry, academic, and non-governmental organizations with a variety of
backgrounds and perspectives. In
addition to energy expert John Holdren, the report panel included PCAST members
John Young (former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. and PCAST Co-Chair), John M.
Deutch (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Lilian Shiao-Yen Wu (IBM);
industry representatives Richard Balzhiser (President Emeritus of the Electric
Power Research Institute), Larry Papay (Vice President of Bechtel), Maxine
Savitz (Allied Signal Ceramic Components), Bruce Stram (VP of Enron Energy Services);
and others from diverse backgrounds, John P. Boright (National Research
Council), William Chandler (Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory),
Howard Geller (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy), John H.
Gibbons (Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, ret.), Nathan
Rosenberg (Stanford University), and Robert Williams (Princeton University).
Despite this diversity, these members and PCAST were unanimous in the
summary of the report: Powerful
Partnerships: A Synthesis of a
Report by PCAST can be accessed at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/OSTP.
full PCAST report can be found at: Powerful Partnerships:
The Federal Role in International Cooperation on Energy Innovation can be
accessed at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/OSTP.