New Monograph Addresses Need for Energy Behavior Research

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—A new monograph by researchers at RTI International addresses the need for a more holistic approach to understanding the future energy options of the United States.

Viewing America's Energy Future in Three Dimensions, edited by RTI researchers Louis Hegedus, Ph.D., and Dorota Temple, Ph.D., provides a comprehensive overview of the technology, economic, and societal issues associated with the world's current energy challenge.

In the monograph, energy technologies are discussed in their economic and societal contexts, energy economics are discussed in their technological and societal contexts, and the societal dimensions of energy are discussed in their technological and economic contexts.

"Renewable energy technology and economics have long been studied and show signs of significant progress," said James Trainham, Ph.D., lead and distinguished fellow and vice president of Strategic Energy Initiatives at RTI International. "Societal impacts including emotional and practical adjustments to lifestyle and infrastructure need to be quantified and are the next important step toward realizing energy sustainability."

The authors of this monograph argue that energy technology and economics should be discussed at their intersection with the societal dimension. They also identify new research needs aimed at developing ways to overcome societal barriers, and beyond that to harness societal forces to accelerate progress toward a rational energy future.

The authors recommend the need for energy behavior research to:

  • Assess the lack of understanding of energy issues by the general public
  • Assess the acceptance of alternative energy developments and their impact on American society
  • Understand the behavioral economics of energy consumption
  • Analyze the effects of climate change concerns on future energy production and consumption
  • Understand energy politics
  • Anticipate the future geopolitics of energy
  • Understand the relationships between homeland security and energy
  • Promote public support of rational energy solutions

This monograph also provides recommendations for research involving energy technology, energy economics, and energy-related social research conducted concurrently to facilitate the penetration of new energy technologies.

Viewing America's Energy Future in Three Dimensions was published by RTI Press and is available on the RTI Press website.