Energy Justice

NREL's vision is a clean energy future for the world. We're focused on developing and delivering solutions that enable all people to participate in and benefit from the transition to sustainable energy.

Kids learning about the different types of solar panels and arrays during the Ute Mountain Ute Youth Energy Day held on July 6, 2016, in Colorado.
Kids learning about the different types of solar panels and arrays during the Ute Mountain Ute Youth Energy Day held on July 6, 2016, in Colorado. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy hosted the event as part of the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program. Photo by Josh Bauer, NREL.

NREL is a leader in applied clean energy practices, working with thousands of communities nationally and around the world, many of which have been historically underserved in terms of access to clean energy and its benefits.

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

  • Developing the technologies and tools that make community-driven energy transitions possible
  • Working hand-in-hand with historically disadvantaged communities and other partners to address energy challenges and to identify, evaluate, and implement clean energy solutions
  • Analyzing the relative costs and benefits of various strategic pathways and the extent to which the benefits of the clean energy transition accrue broadly
  • De-risking community-determined energy transition solutions and strategies.

Community Support Starts With Listening

Every community is different, and NREL analysts and researchers take unique needs and viewpoints in each community into account. Whether it's partnering with Los Angeles, where diverse stakeholders who live and work in the community guided every step of the analysis to determine pathways to achieve 100% renewable energy, or developing microgrid solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development, NREL technical assistance is led by community voices and visions throughout the process. Read more about NREL's work with state, local, and tribal communities to support development of efficient, affordable, and resilient energy systems that address local energy challenges and build on local clean energy opportunities.


Bundling Strategies Offer Solutions to Microgrid Challenges

Q&A With Eric Lockhart: Centering Community Needs Within Clean Energy Solutions

Readying Colombia's Energy Sector Workforce

LA100: The Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study

Data Drives Decisions, Addresses Gaps

Accurate, detailed data and insights lead to more inclusive, better-informed decision-making. By considering important factors and variables such as geographic location or median income, NREL researchers can identify gaps in availability of and access to clean energy technology. For example, NREL used our R&D 100 award-winning Distributed Generation Market Demand (dGen™) model to identify why low-income communities may have lower rates of solar energy deployment, and what factors were most likely to increase adoption of rooftop solar.


dGen in Underserved California Communities

SLOPE Illuminates Milwaukee's Options for Achieving Energy and Equity Goals

State Local and Tribal Program Overview

Advanced Tools and Platforms Help De-Risk Integrated Energy Solutions

Uninterrupted access to energy is, for many people, an issue of life or death. For most, it is an essential contributor to quality of life. When power systems operators integrate clean energy technologies, they must prioritize resilience to ensure the reliable delivery of energy to those who consume it.

NREL's Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) platform takes research beyond analysis to demonstrate technologies on real hardware at scale and develop proven approaches to mitigating the risks of deployment in various communities.


Clean Energy Cyber Accelerator

Landmark Demonstration Shows How Common Wind Turbine Can Provide Fundamental Grid Stability

How ARIES Helps the Military Build Resilient and Renewable Microgrids

Kauai Clean Energy Microgrid

Large-scale Experiments Demonstrate Advanced Controls for Autonomous Energy Systems

Inclusion Is Our North Star

NREL prioritizes equitable access to, participation in, and distribution of the benefits of affordable, sustainable, reliable, and resilient energy to enable a clean energy future for the world. Our approach is guided by the fundamental principle that community participation in, access to, and ownership of energy are foundational to achieving our own vision of a clean energy future for the world. This commitment is what fuels NREL's mission-driven work to provide the tools and technical support communities need to advance their energy visions. Clean energy innovation is born from diversity.