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Robert M. Margolis

Photo of Robert M. Margolis

Robert M. Margolis is the group manager of the Washington D.C. Office in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center.

Senior Analyst (Group Manager)
On staff since April 2003
Phone number: 202-488-2222

Areas of Expertise

  • Energy-economic-environmental modeling, including national and global-scale models
  • Economic and market analysis of renewable energy technologies
  • R&D planning and evaluation
  • Long-term scenario development

Research Interests

  • Science and technology policy
  • Research, development, and demonstration policy
  • Energy technology
  • Environmental policy


  • Ph.D. in science, technology, and environmental policy, 2002, Princeton University
  • M.S. in technology and policy, 1992, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.S. in electrical engineering, 1988, University of Rochester

Prior Work Experience

  • Executive director/research faculty, Center for the Study and Improvement of Regulation, Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (May 2002-March 2003)
  • Research fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (September 1999-April 2002)
  • Research associate, Stockholm Environment Institute-Boston, Tellus Institute, Boston, Massachusetts (November 1992-June 1995)
  • Research assistant, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts (June 1990-October 1992)
  • Design engineer, Advanced Sensors Group, Texas Instruments, Attleboro, Massachusetts (June 1988-October 1989)

Other Affiliations

  • Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Member of the International Association for Energy Economics
  • Member of the American Solar Energy Society

Featured Publications

Jenkin, Thomas, Philipp Beiter, and Robert Margolis. 2016. Capacity Payments in Restructured Markets under Low and High Penetration Levels of Renewable Energy. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A20-65491.

Ardani, K., C. Davidson, R. Margolis, and E. Nobler. 2015. State-Level Comparison of Processes and Timelines for Distributed Photovoltaic Interconnection in the United States. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-7A40-63556.

Goodrich, A., P. Hacke, Q. Wang, B. Sopori, R. Margolis, T.L. James, and M. Woodhouse. "A wafer-based monocrystalline silicon photovoltaics road map: Utilizing known technology improvement opportunities for further reductions in manufacturing costs." Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 114 (July 2013): 110–135. Supplemental Information.

Woodhouse, M., A. Goodrich, R. Margolis, T.L. James, M. Lokanc, and R. Eggert. "Supply-Chain Dynamics of Tellurium, Indium, and Gallium Within the Context of PV Manufacturing Costs." IEEE Journal Of Photovoltaics 3, no. 2 (April 2013): 833-837.

Denholm, P., M. Hand, T. Mai, R. Margolis, G. Brinkman, E. Drury, M. Mowers, and C. Turchi. 2012. Potential Role of Concentrating Solar Power in Enabling High Renewables Scenarios in the United States. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A20-56294.

Margolis, R. M. "Public-Private R&D Collaboration: Lessons from PV Partnerships." The Future of Photovoltaics Manufacturing in the United States: Summary of Two Symposia. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press (2011): 79-83. NREL/CP-6A2-47186.

Drury, E.; Denholm, P.; Margolis, R. 2011. Impact of Different Economic Performance Metrics on the Perceived Value of Solar Photovoltaics. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A20-52197.

Coggeshall, C. and R.M. Margolis. 2010. Consortia Focused on Photovoltaic R&D, Manufacturing, and Testing: A Review of Existing Models and Structures. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A2-47866.

Denholm, P., E. Drury, and R. Margolis. 2009. Solar Deployment System (SolarDS) Model: Documentation and Sample Results. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A2-45832.

Denholm, P., R.M. Margolis, S. Ong, and B. Roberts. 2009. Break-Even Cost for Residential Photovoltaics in the United States: Key Drivers and Sensitivities. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A2-46909.

Drury, E., P. Denholm, and R.M. Margolis. "Solar Photovoltaics Wedge: Pathways for Growth and Potential Carbon Mitigation in the U.S." Environmental Research Letters 4, no. 3 (2009): Article No. 034010. NREL/JA-6A2-45512.

Denholm, P. and R.M. Margolis. "Evaluating the Limits of Solar Photovoltaics (PV) in Traditional Electric Power Systems." Energy Policy 35, no. 5 (2007): 2852-61. NREL/JA-640-41459.

Levene, J.I., M.K. Mann, R.M. Margolis, and A. Milbrandt. "Analysis of Hydrogen Production from Renewable Electricity Sources." Solar Energy 81, no. 6 (2007): 773-80. NREL/JA-560-40404.

Full list of Robert Margolis publications (NREL)