The purpose of the project described in this report is to identify and characterize commercially available products and emerging (near-commercial) technologies that benefited from the support of the Building Technologies Program (BTP) within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The investigation specifically focused on technology-oriented research and development (R&D) projects sponsored by BTP’s Emerging Technologies subprogram from 2005-2009.
To perform this analysis, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) investigated 190 technology R&D projects funded directly by the Emerging Technologies subprogram or via the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. This effort identified 11 commercially available products, 41 emerging technologies, and 68 “potential” technologies that are still being researched but are more than three years away from commercialization. These technologies were grouped according to the four major R&D areas of the Emerging Technologies subprogram: envelope, HVAC and water heating, lighting, and windows. The lighting R&D area accounted for the majority of all technologies identified in this study, including 58% of all commercially available and emerging technologies and 69% of all potential technologies. These findings are consistent with the fact that more than 50% of the Emerging Technologies subprogram’s total budget during 2005-2009 was allocated to lighting R&D, with most lighting R&D funding occurring from 2007-2009. In addition, many of the activities conducted in the envelope and windows areas advance the development of energy-efficient buildings through mechanisms other than new commercial products.
Three types of organizations received grants to develop these building technologies: private companies, universities, and national laboratories. Private companies accounted for 73% of commercially available and emerging technologies and 56% of potential technologies. Universities had a much more prominent representation among potential technologies (25%) than commercially available/emerging technologies (11.5%), while national laboratories had an almost identical representation (15-19%) among both groups.
Where possible, PNNL also quantified the energy savings’ and emissions’ reductions benefits resulting from using commercially available technologies that are more energy efficient than the established baseline technologies they were designed to replace. These results are presented on a per-technology basis as part of a set of detailed descriptions that was developed for each commercially available and emerging technology.
This report documents the methodology and results of PNNL’s technology tracking effort, including various analytical cross-sections and descriptions of the commercially available and emerging technologies that resulted from support of the Emerging Technologies subprogram from 2005-2009.