On February 4, 2016, the Department of Energy began the formal stakeholder engagement process for the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER 1.2). The first meeting was hosted by Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz; Dr. John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Dan Utech, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. Unlike other quadrennial reviews, the Quadrennial Energy Review is being released in several installments over a four year period. The first installment was released in April 2015 focused on modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure, particularly energy transmission, storage, and distribution systems. The second installment will take an integrated and systematic approach to studying the U.S. electric system from generation all the way through end use.
QER 1.2 will develop a set of findings and policy recommendations to ensure the reliability, safety, security, affordability, and environmental performance of the nation’s electric grid through 2040. In the February 4th Stakeholder Briefing Memo, the Department of Energy notes that the U.S. electric system is at a “strategic inflection point” as a result of the convergence of a number of significant changes, such as the growing use of natural gas, increasing deployment of renewable energy, retirements of coal and nuclear generation, severe weather and climate change, and growing concerns about physical and cyber security. The Department of Energy has provided stakeholders with a number of framing questions on topics ranging from distributed energy resources to electricity financing and from jurisdictional boundaries to environmental concerns.
The stakeholder engagement process for QER 1.2 will be similar to that for the first installment and will include formal public meetings, technical workshops, stakeholder briefings, one-on-one meetings, and an online communication portal. Meetings will be held across the country, and their locations and dates will be announced online and in the Federal Register. The Department of Energy will be accepting comments until July 1, 2016.