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Models and Tools

Use models and tools developed or supported by NREL to assess, analyze, and optimize renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies for your project. Many of these tools can be applied on a global, regional, local, or project basis. NREL models and tools include several designed for the consumer or energy professional.

Technology and Performance Analysis

Biomass Scenario Model (BSM)

Determine which supply chain changes would have the greatest potential to accelerate the deployment of biofuels.

Building Life-Cycle Cost (BLCC)

Analyze capital investments in buildings. Includes the Energy Escalation Rate Calculator 2.0-15.

Distributed Generation Market Demand (dGen) Model

Simulate the potential adoption of distributed energy resources through 2050. Replaces the deprecated Solar Deployment System (SolarDS) model.

EnergyPlus Simulation Program

Helps building designers and owners save money, reduce energy use, and improve indoor air quality.

Geothermal Prospector

Designed to provide easy access to geothermal resource datasets and other data relevant to utility-scale geothermal power projects.


Estimates the electricity production of a grid-connected roof- or ground-mounted photovoltaic system based on a few simple inputs.

Scenario Evaluation, Regionalization and Analysis (SERA)

Determine optimal production and delivery scenarios for hydrogen, with this geospatial and temporal infrastructure analysis model.

Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA) Model

Use NREL's geospatial toolkit to visualize solar and wind resource data in 13 developing countries.

Transportation Data, Models and Tools

Details on several resources that NREL maintains for supporting vehicle and transportation analysis.

Energy Systems Analysis

Buildings Industry Transportation Electricity Scenarios (BITES)

See how changes in energy demand and supply by economic sector can impact carbon dioxide emissions.


Evaluate design options for both off-grid and grid-connected power systems for remote, stand-alone, and distributed generation applications. HOMER is licensed to and maintained by Homer Energy.

Interactive Mapping Tools

Access RE Atlas, Solar Power Prospector, PVWatts, and other popular tools that dynamically generate maps of renewable energy resources.

Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS)

NREL uses this multi-regional, multi-time period, GIS and linear programming model of U.S. electric sector capacity expansion to analyze critical issues in the electric sector.


Early screening tool that identifies and prioritizes renewable energy projects using site, resource, cost, incentive, and financial data

Resource Planning Model (RPM)

Capacity expansion modeling to inform utility or regional electric system planning, including for clean energy or carbon mitigation analysis, in the Western or Eastern Interconnections. Contact Trieu Mai for more information.

Stochastic Energy Deployment System (SEDS)

NREL uses this capacity-expansion model of the U.S. energy market to conduct deterministic or stochastic analysis.

Economic and Financial Analysis

Community Solar Scenario Tool

User-guided tool exploring a range of financial scenarios to evaluate if a solar garden makes sense in your community.

Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool (CREST)

Assess solar, wind, or geothermal projects, design cost-based incentives, and evaluate the impact of tax incentives or other support structures with this cash flow model.

H2A Model

Hydrogen production and delivery models used for analyzing the economics of distributed and centralized hydrogen production from various energy resources, including renewables, coal, natural gas, and biomass.

Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) Model

Use these easy-to-use, spreadsheet-based tools to analyze the economic impacts of constructing and operating power generation and biofuel plants at the local and state level.


Estimate the economic impacts of constructing and operating photovoltaic power generation at the local and state levels.

System Advisor Model (SAM)

Make performance predictions and cost of energy estimates for grid-connected power projects based on system design parameters that you specify.

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, provides information on more than 200 software tools for energy analysis.