America's Energy Future Initiative

The America’s Energy Future (AEF) initiative at the National Academies is designed to provide an authoritative analysis of technology options and their costs and impacts to help make sensible decisions about the nation’s energy future. Launched in 2007, the principal task of this four-year effort is to critically review the portfolio of recently completed major studies on energy use and technology’s potential for improvement, compare their assumptions, analyze the currency and quality of information used, and assess the relative state of maturity of technologies for potential deployment in the next decade to reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports and CO2 emissions while ensuring that affordable energy is available to sustain economic growth.


The AEF initiative is exercised in two phases:

America's Energy Future Book Cover
The National Academies Summit on America's Energy Future: Summary of a Meeting chronicles the 2008 two-day summit.

Phase I:

Establishing the foundational analysis needed to provide a technical base that narrows uncertainty in the cost, performance, and possible impacts of existing and prospective energy technology alternatives. (The principal goal of Phase I is not to produce a new U.S. energy policy or deliver major recommendations about policy but, rather, to supply an authoritative technical basis for articulating energy policy options that can be productively considered, debated, and decided by the nation.)

Phase II:

Strategies for America’s energy future. With Phase I as its foundation, Phase II is a portfolio of studies to be conducted at the Academies and in other organizations to address reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, transportation policy, the prospects for major increases in the use of biofuels and other alternative fuels in the U.S., energy research and development priorities, strategic energy technology development, policy analysis, and many related subjects. 

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