As noted, the stationary applications subpanel developed two methods of its own for calculating economic benefits. Fuel cell or fuel cell/turbine hybrid units deliver economic benefits in the form of fuel savings and reduced capital costs vis-à-vis the next-best alternative. The subpanel calculated economic benefits of $19.5 billion to $26 billion in the Reference Case, $23.3 billion to $35.7 billion for the High Oil and Gas Prices scenario, and $20.5 billion to $31.7 billion for the Carbon Constrained scenario. These results are consistent with DOE’s predictions. They are not unexpected, as the subpanel assumed that all program goals were achieved and used DOE and NEMS data for inputs to their benefits calculations.
The subpanel understands that it was not charged with performing a program review; however, these issues would need to be understood in order to independently establish probabilities and benefits.
The subpanel recommends that, should a similar evaluation be performed by a another group in the future, such a group should work with the NRC staff on a strategy for obtaining the information it needs to perform its work. Once these data are obtained, it should be a relatively simple matter to complete the matrix. Most of this activity could be completed by e-mail, with perhaps one meeting with DOE to clarify issues and allow the subpanel or another group to discuss the program and develop an analytical strategy for completing the matrix.