Policy analysis is the process of evaluating options that are available to achieve goals established by elected officials and agency staff. The process is also used in the private sector companies and non-governmental organizations for meeting their goals. Policy analysis for LENR seeks to meet the worldwide objective of inexpensive, safe, and environmentally secure sources of energy. It also addresses the goal of dealing proactively with adverse impacts of disruptive new technologies like LENR.
Evidence-Based Policymaking for Realization of LENR Benefits
Evidence-based policy making (EBP) addresses policy issues by utilizing objective evidence. Important elements of EBP are reliable data, good analytical skills, and political support for rational solutions. For LENR, EBP is effective in making (or revising) policies for funding of research and development.
The experimental and other evidence for LENR appears to be overwhelming. A challenge for policymakers is to interpret this evidence in terms of policies that meet the goals for inexpensive, safe, and clean energy supplies. LENRGY needs this challenge with EBP. The various kinds of evidence for LENR are interpreted in terms of level of evidence (preponderance of evidence, clear and convincing evidence, and beyond a reasonable doubt). LENRGY then further interprets for appropriate policy responses, such as:
No change in current policies
Reinstatement and support with other emerging energy technologies
Enhanced support, as for other technologies with superior human welfare benefits
Crash program, similar to the Manhattan Project of World War II.
Policy research by LENRGY to date indicates that LENR should at a minimum be reinstated for full support with other new technologies. A strong case may also be made for enhanced support.
Technology Assessment for Mitigation of Adverse Secondary Impacts
Besides its potential benefits, LENR may also prove to be a disruptive technology with major adverse secondary impacts. Prominent examples of such technologies in the past are the automobile and the Internet. Broad deployment of LENR as an energy source may be expected to have major direct impacts on all phases of the energy chain – supply, transport, storage, and consumption. Indirect impacts will be felt most by the components of society that are closely tied to the energy cycle, such as sectors of the workforce and energy-based communities.
LENRGY utilizes the effective and well-established method of technology assessment (TA) to analyze and develop mitigation strategies for LENR’s secondary impacts. TA consists of a systematic series of steps to define the types of impacts, the entities affected, the severity and timing of impacts, available measures and entities to address the effects, and development of mitigation strategies and plans.
Policy Analysis Experience
Dr. Grimshaw’s work in LENR policy began over 10 years ago with his professional report (thesis) for the master’s degree at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He co-instructed two Policy Research Projects at the LBJ School on energy policy, with coverage of the promise of LENR as a potential energy source. He then supervised a student internship to delineate LENR’s secondary impacts, identify a methodology to address the impacts, and develop a step-by-step procedure to apply the methodology. Technology assessment was selected as an effective method of dealing with the direct and indirect secondary impacts of broad deployment of LENR as a new source of energy. The results of the student internship were presented at the 17th International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF-17) in South Korea.
Dr. Grimshaw continues to preform LENR-related policy analysis by preparing papers and giving presentations at conferences. At the most recent ICCF conference in Japan, for example, Dr. Grimshaw presented a paper jointly with David Nagel, PhD, of The George Washington University. The subject was the opportunities – and obligations – of US government agencies to provide financial support for LENR research. In the preceding ICCF conference in Italy, Dr. Grimshaw gave a presentation on integrated policymaking for realizing the benefits and mitigating the impacts of LENR.
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