President Barack Obama has directed the U.S. federal government to undertake a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), with the first multi-agency report scheduled for Jan. 31, 2015.
Unlike the long-standing Quadrennial Defense Review, a legislatively mandated report of U.S. Department of Defense priorities and strategy, the QER is an executive order that creates a task force that essentially includes all executive departments and agencies with any effect on energy policy, production or consumption.
According to the White House, the initial focus for the QER will be the U.S. energy grid. The executive order says the nation's infrastructure for transporting, transmitting and delivering energy is increasingly challenged by transformations in energy supply, markets and patterns of end use. Moreover, issues such as aging, capacity, the impacts of climate change, and cyber and physical threats are to be addressed in the first QER report.
The presidential memorandum establishing the QER casts a wide net. In addition to mandated federal input, the QER task force is instructed to seek the views of state and local governments; nongovernmental, environmental, faith-based, labor and other social organizations; and academic and nonprofit sectors.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has released a statement regarding the directive.
‘We welcome the next Quadrennial Energy Review and the process to engage multiple agencies and stakeholders," says Rob Gramlich, AWEA's senior vice president for public policy. "So much has changed in the last four years – including an over 40 percent drop in the cost of wind energy – that it is time to review the nation's energy strategy and find ways to make the nation's considerable clean, affordable, and homegrown energy available to all Americans."