The Quadrennial Energy Review (QER)

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About the First Installment

On April 21, 2015, the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Task Force released the first installment of the QER titled “Energy Transmission, Storage, and Distribution Infrastructure.” The first installment  (QER 1.1) examines how to modernize our Nation’s energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility, and is focused on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D), the networks of pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities that form the backbone of our energy system.

About the Second Installment

On January 6, 2017, the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Task Force released the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review report titled “Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System.” The second installment (QER 1.2) finds the electricity system is a critical and essential national asset, and it is a strategic imperative to protect and enhance the value of the electricity system through modernization and transformation. QER 1.2 analyzes trends and issues confronting the Nation’s electricity sector out to 2040, examining the entire electricity system from generation to end use, and within the context of three overarching national goals: (1) enhance economic competitiveness; (2) promote environmental responsibility; and (3) provide for the Nation’s security.

The report provides 76 recommendations that seek to enable the modernization and transformation of the electricity system. Undertaken in conjunction with state and local governments, policymakers, industry, and other stakeholders, the recommendations provide the building blocks for longer-term, planned changes and activities.

About the Quadrennial Energy Review

On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Administration to conduct a QER. In response to a 2011 recommendation by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Administration-wide QER enables the Federal Government to translate policy goals into a set of analytically based, integrated actions--executive actions, legislative proposals, and budget and resource requirements for proposed investments--over a multi-year planning horizon. The White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy jointly chair an interagency QER Task Force, while the Secretary of Energy provides support to the QER Task Force, including coordination of activities related to the preparation of the QER report, policy analysis and modeling, and stakeholder engagement.

The Task Force is directed to deliver a report to the President that includes the following: 

  • Provides an integrated view of, and recommendations for, Federal energy policy in the context of economic, environmental, occupational, security, and health and safety priorities, with attention in the first report given to the challenges facing the Nation’s energy infrastructures.
  • Reviews the adequacy of existing executive and legislative actions and recommends additional executive and legislative actions, as appropriate.
  • Assesses and recommends priorities for research, development, and demonstration programs to support key energy innovation goals.
  • Identifies analytical tools and data needed to support further policy development and implementation.


Unlike other federal quadrennial review processes where an analysis is done every four years, the QER is being conducted through installments to allow for granular analysis of key energy sub-sectors. This structure will provide policy makers both deep and broad policy analysis of the complex and interdependent elements that comprise the Nation’s energy system.  As directed by the President, the QER is envisioned to be a focused, actionable document designed to provide policymakers, industry, investors, and other stakeholders with unbiased data and analysis on energy challenges, needs, requirements, and barriers that will inform a range of policy options.

The QER process itself involves robust engagement of Federal agencies and outside stakeholders, and further enables the Federal Government to translate policy goals into a set of analytically based, integrated actions. As the Secretariat for the QER Task Force, the Department of Energy coordinates stakeholder outreach through public meetings, stakeholder briefings, technical workshops, one-on-one meetings, and an online comments portal.

First Installment

Download the full report, learn more about the first installment, examine the analytical library, and review the status of recommendations.

Presidential Memorandum

The Presidential Memorandum establishing the QER is available on the White House webpage.

Second Installment

Download the full report, learn more about the second installment,  examine the analytical library, and view stakeholder comments.

Stakeholder Meetings

Visit our Stakeholder Engagement page to review videos, agendas and other documents from our public meetings across the country.

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