Systems Analysis supports Program decision-making by providing greater understanding of (1) the contribution of individual elements of a complete hydrogen energy system to the whole, and (2) the interaction of various elements and their effects on the system. It continually analyzes the alternatives for satisfying the functions and requirements of a hydrogen and fuel cell system and the Program's progress against the plan, testing assumptions and validating the integrated baseline developed by Systems Integration. Analysis activities provide direction, focus, and support to the development and introduction of hydrogen production, storage, and end-use technologies, and provide a basis for recommendations on a balanced portfolio of activities. Analysis is conducted to support cross-cutting and overall hydrogen infrastructure topics, but also as part of the program elements of production, delivery, storage, fuel cells, technology validation, safety, and codes and standards. The Technology Analyst is responsible for DOE's Systems Analysis activities, supported by the Systems Integration function, which provides analytical resources, models and tools, and independent analysis capabilities as required.
Led by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, this activity supports the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program decision-making processes by evaluating existing and emerging technologies through multiple pathways utilizing a fact-based analytical framework to guide the selection and evaluation of R&D projects, and providing a sound basis for estimating the potential value of research efforts. Specific objectives of Systems Analysis include:
- Through analysis, support the integration of the Program within a balanced, overall DOE national energy R&D effort — addressing the role of hydrogen in context of the overall energy infrastructure
- Develop and evaluate transition scenarios consistent with developing infrastructure and hydrogen resources, including an assessment of timing and sequencing issues
- Provide and/or coordinate appropriate and timely analysis of environmental and techno-economic issues to support program decision-making tied to program schedules, targets and milestones
- Develop, evolve and utilize a macro-system model of the hydrogen fuel infrastructure to support systems analysis for the Program. By 2010, the model will be enhanced to include the electrical generation and infrastructure in a full hydrogen economy analytical process
- Support a spectrum of analyses, including financial and environmental topics, across and within program envelopes — from individual unit/subsystem elements to a fully integrated system and infrastructure
- Coordinate the multiple parallel efforts contributing to the program, including analysis done across all elements and the EERE Planning, Budget and Analysis organization
DOE announced a new hydrogen cost goal on July 14, 2005.