The Howard Baker Forum program, A National Roadmap on Advancing Energy Technologies, was established to produce an actionable, national roadmap for advancing energy technologies through the application of high performance computing (HPC) modeling and simulation. Startups, particularly small and medium-size businesses, have not taken full advantage of these unique national assets. High performance computing can provide an edge to American entrepreneurs and companies and hasten implementation of crucial new technologies by substantially reducing development time and cost. The U.S. national laboratory system can provide expertise and capabilities at a level found few places in the world.
In the interest of harnessing these capabilities and advancing American energy technologies, the Howard Baker Forum joined with the Bipartisan Policy Center and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to engage the public and private sectors in developing a national high performance computing roadmap. The National Summit was the first step in this process. The subsequent Report on the National Summit identified three initial action items that will facilitate HPC adoption by U.S. energy companies:
- Co-sponsor meetings on clean energy technology advancement to determine the HPC state-of-the-art and to identify areas of need for companies at different stages. These meetings will include a North Dakota Energy Symposium, a Washington, D.C. conference on shale gas technology, and a series of regional meetings and events designed to connect businesses around the country to American HPC experts and capabilities.
- LLNL will publish a call for proposals from clean energy businesses of all sizes to gain access to the LLNL supercomputers and computational experts. Winning proposals will be provided with LLNL's HPC capabilities and expertise for pilot projects aimed at solving specific problems.
- Generate a dynamic, innovative, and interactive website for clean energy computing. This site will be a one-stop-shop for what stakeholders need to know in order to leverage America's HPC assets. Visit www.hpc4energy.org to learn more.
On May 16 and 17, 2011, the National Summit mobilized the extraordinary talent and insights of energy technologists and computational experts with the knowledge and experience of industry executives and public officials. During the event, speakers and panelists discussed the practical pathways necessary to improve America's pursuit of energy and environmental security, economic growth and competitiveness, and the creation of next generation high-tech jobs. This informative exchange of ideas served as the foundation for a National High Performance Computing Roadmap.
On March 5, 2012, The Howard Baker Forum and LLNL took the ideas of A National Summit on Advancing Clean Energy Technologies: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Through High Performance Computing on the road to Fargo, North Dakota. Senator John Hoeven and North Dakota State University hosted the first regional National Roadmap event featuring experts from academia, the national laboratories, state regulatory officials, federal energy regulatory officials, and private sector representatives. Senator John Hoeven, with representatives from sponsoring organizations and industry, held a press conference on-site to discuss energy challenges and opportunities. Following the press conference Senator Hoeven delivered a keynote address.
The Conference on Bipartisan Energy Policy was organized to develop a systems approach to national policy-making that would apply the nation's best science-based decision-making tools to the evaluation of policy options. A group of leading universities and national laboratories worked with the Howard Baker Forum to investigate and analyze how we can improve the way energy policy is made.
In 2008, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy joined forces with national laboratories and other research universities to establish a program that examined the process of decision-making and use of analytical policy tools as they apply to energy and climate change. In 2009, the Centers hosted a roundtable and subsequent workshop where highly distinguished former executive branch and congressional officials, along with experts from the national laboratories, academic institutions, nongovernmental groups, and industry explored ways to establish an open and transparent process for the formulation of energy and climate policy. The conferees concluded that the U.S. government could benefit from a program that applies systems thinking models with broad stakeholder input to analyze, evaluate, and monitor energy and climate policy options. The computational tools and modeling capabilities necessary to provide such analysis, although currently dispersed across a number of public and private institutions, are available in the United States. Recognizing these realities, the conferees organized a final working group to determine how these resources might be aggregated and mobilized to improve the policy-making process by employing systems thinking.
The sponsoring and contributing members of the Conference included representatives and experts from the national laboratories and leading research universities. The participating national laboratories, Sandia and LLNL, are known for their computational expertise and capabilities. Among the research universities represented are a number of experts from institutions that have established records in energy systems related research and modeling. The Conference task force members were:
- Wade Adams—R.E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology, Rice University
- Massoud Amin—Technological Leadership Institute, University of Minnesota
- Timothy Anderson—Director of Florida Energy Systems Consortium, University of Florida
- Dawn Bonnell—Director of Nano-Bio Interface Center, University of Pennsylvania
- Nancy Brune—Principal Member of Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories
- Scott L. Campbell—The Howard Baker Forum, Washington, D.C.
- Ventatesh Narayanamurti—Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
- David Rosowsky—School of Engineering, Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Douglas Rotman—Energy & Environmental Security Program, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Arnold Vedlitz—The Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University