The European Commission, DG XII, has published the results of the Panel project, an initiative supported by the Community's JOULE programme to examine transparent and objective methodologies for advising on energy R&D strategy. The Panel project reviewed national approaches to the formulation of R&D strategies, and recommended appropriate methodologies for analysing and advising on the EU's non-nuclear energy R&D strategy and identification of priorities. The Panel considered that all national approaches aimed to address three questions: - Does the proposed research represent an effective approach to the attainment of policy objectives? - Does the proposed research have an acceptable balance between cost and potential benefit? - How many evolutionary paths for the energy market influence the long-term commercial prospects of energy technologies? The Panel project developed an analytical framework for guiding the objective appraisal of R&D options, and formulated a set of axioms to help policy-makers consider R&D options on the basis of a common perspective and rules. The project also supported a more detailed assessment of the commercial prospects and benefits of RTD programmes.