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Cambium is a tool that assembles structured data sets of hourly cost, emission, and operational data for modeled futures of the U.S. electric sector with metrics designed to be useful for long-term decision-making.

Cambium was built to expand the metrics reported in NREL’s Standard Scenarios—an annually released set of projections of how the U.S. electric sector could evolve across a suite of different potential futures, looking ahead through 2050.

Access the Data

Cambium databases can be viewed and downloaded via the Cambium Viewer.

Screenshot of the interface of the Cambium Viewer, which includes four sections of interactive data in map and chart formats.

Limitations of Modeled Data

Cambium relies on models, which are necessarily simplifications of reality. The data produced by those models therefore deviate from reality to some degree. The accuracy varies across metrics: annual generation from a particular technology might be quite accurate, for example, while something as specific as the difference between the minimum and maximum marginal energy cost on a specific day in a specific location may be significantly less accurate.

We strongly encourage users to critically evaluate the suitability of Cambium metrics for new analyses by reviewing existing literature and comparing Cambium data against empirical data where possible. To aid in this effort, we have provided modeled data for 2018 in the mid-case of the 2020 Standard Scenarios data release—available through the viewer—so that users can compare empirical market and operational data with the data provided in Cambium databases. Cambium data is not sufficiently accurate to be used for every purpose and should be assessed with a critical eye.

See Section 2 of the Cambium documentation for a detailed discussion of the limitations of the models underlying Cambium databases.

Related Publications

Cambium Documentation: Version 2020, NREL Technical Report (2020)

2020 Standard Scenarios Report: A U.S. Electricity Sector Outlook, NREL Technical Report (2020)

Pieter Gagnon