Because renewable resources vary considerably from one geographic location to another, optimal siting of renewable energy systems requires knowledge of the specific resource characteristics—availability, magnitude, and variability—at any given location. NREL provides high-quality renewable energy resource data for U.S. and international locations.
The Geographical Information System (GIS) is a computer-based system used to manipulate, manage and analyze data important to solar, wind, biomass and geothermal technologies. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory uses GIS to create dynamically-generated maps of renewable energy resources that determine which energy technologies are viable solutions in the United States.
Measurement and Instrumentation Data Center (MIDC)
The MIDC provides real-time irradiance and meteorological data from measurement stations located throughout the U.S.-in California, North Carolina, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and multiple locations in Colorado. Baseline measurement systems are located at the Solar Radiation Research Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.
Renewable Resource Data Center (RReDC): National Assessment of Solar and Wind Resources
NREL's online RReDC is the world's largest free collection of renewable energy resource data, offering comprehensive information on solar, wind, and biomass, renewable energy resources in the U.S. Up-to-date data, resource maps, publications and other information about renewable resources are available through the RReDC.
Solar Radiation Research
NREL's Solar Radiation Research is performed in a unique outdoor research facility designed to provide continuous research-quality solar radiation and other meteorological data for use in climate change studies, atmospheric research, renewable energy conversion system testing, and more.