Energy Justice

NREL develops and delivers inclusive energy solutions that enable all people to participate in the transition to sustainable energy, and prioritizes equitable distribution of energy benefits and burdens.

Graphic showing the transition from clean energy for some to clean energy for all. 1 – Clean energy for some: Various people in their own isolated circles. 2 – Three overlapping circles representing diverse communities, diverse and inclusive NREL teams, and diverse partners working together to research, develop, demonstrate and deploy solutions. 3 – Clean energy for all: Different groups together.
NREL's path to energy equity and justice must include diversity—among teams, communities, and collaborations—in all stages of research, development, demonstration, and deployment to transition from clean energy for some to clean energy for all. Graphic by Anthony Castellano.

For decades, NREL has been a leader in applied clean energy research. We accelerate the clean energy transition broadly, prioritizing equitable distribution of social, economic, and health benefits and burdens across all segments of society.

Energy Equity Is Central to Our Work

NREL places energy equity at the center of our mission-driven work by:

  • Integrating diversity and equity throughout the innovation process to develop technologies and tools that make community-driven energy transitions possible
  • Working with historically marginalized communities and other partners to address energy challenges and identify, evaluate, and implement solutions
  • Analyzing the benefits and burdens of various energy transition pathways and the extent to which they accrue broadly and equally
  • Validating community-prioritized energy solutions in at-scale simulations to demonstrate impacts before implementation.

See our fact sheet to learn how NREL is Working Toward an Equitable Energy Future.

Engagement Yields Codeveloped, Equitable Solutions

Having worked with thousands of communities and organizations—in the United States and around the world—NREL knows equitable energy systems are defined and driven by the people who live and work within them. NREL begins with engagement, incorporates feedback throughout the process, and responds to communities' needs as conditions and priorities change over time.

Energy Justice Research Reflects Diversity

Inclusive participation in, access to, and ownership of energy are foundational to a clean energy future for the world. Innovation is born from diversity, and NREL's path to energy justice must include diverse teams, communities, and collaborations in all stages of research, development, demonstration, and deployment.

Energy Equity-Focused Resources

Accurate, detailed data and insights lead to more inclusive, better-informed decision-making. Many of NREL's tools are free, publicly accessible, and complemented by user guides.


2021 Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis Annual Meeting Keynote: Energy Equity, Presentation (2021)

Accelerating Clean Energy @Scale: Place-Based Solutions, Presentation (2021)

Accelerating Clean Energy at Scale in Your Community, Fact Sheet (2022)

Building a Just Transition to a Sustainable Energy Future, Presentation (2021)

Building a More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Energy Efficiency Workforce, NREL Technical Report (2022)

Energy Justice: Key Concepts and Metrics Relevant to EERE Transportation Projects, NREL Technical Report (2021)

Equitable Demonstration and Deployment Roundtable Report, NREL Technical Report (2022)

Expanding the Baseline: Community Perspectives on Equity in Land-Based Wind Energy Development and Operations, NREL Technical Report (2024)

Increasing Diversity in Energy Efficiency Professions: JUMP into STEM, 2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (2021)

Intersections of Disadvantaged Communities and Renewable Energy Potential: Analyses to Inform Equitable Investment Prioritization, Presentation (2021)

Mobility Data and Models Informing Smart Cities, NREL Technical Report (2019)

NREL Support to Louisville Metro Government, Presentation (2021)

PR100: Puerto Rico Grid Resilience and Transition to 100% Renewable Energy, Presentation (2022)

Pathways to a Sustainable Aviation Ecosystem: Sustainable Aviation for Developing Economies, Fact Sheet (2023)

Practical Approaches To Embed Energy and Environmental Justice Into DOE Technology Portfolios: August 2021–August 2024, NREL Subcontract Report (2023)

Setting the Baseline: The Current Understanding of Equity in Land-Based Wind Energy Development and Operation, NREL Technical Report (2023)

Solar Futures Study, U.S. Department of Energy Technical Report (2021)

The Solar Influencer Next Door: Predicting Low-Income Solar Referrals and Leads, Presentation (2021)

Working Toward an Equitable Energy Future, Fact Sheet (2022)


To learn more, contact Technical Lead Eric Lockhart or Partnerships Development Lead Scott Haase.