To perform and support geospatial analysis, NREL analyzes, maintains, and disseminates data sets and maps on renewable energy resources, energy infrastructure, demographics and land ownership, and the earth's physical geography (topography, land use, rivers).
NREL's geographic information system models enable rapid visualization of these data, support informed decisions on renewable energy development across the globe, and provide the foundation for many of NREL's analytical products and tools.
U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis summarizes the achievable energy generation, or technical potential, of specific renewable energy technologies given system performance, topographic limitations, and environmental and land-use constraints.
- Assessment of technical potential establishes an upper-boundary estimate of development potential.
- There are multiple types of potential—resource, technical, economic, and market—defined by key assumptions underlying the assessment.
Data and Tools
The Dynamic Maps, GIS Data, and Analysis Tools website provides the latest analyses, maps, data visualizations, tools, and publications produced by NREL's geospatial data sciences team.
- Techno-Economic Renewable Energy Potential on Tribal Lands, NREL Technical Report (2018)
- Break-Even Cost for Residential Solar Water Heating in the United States: Key Drivers and Sensitivities, NREL Technical Report (2011)
- Assessing the Potential for Renewable Energy Development on DOE Legacy Management Lands, NREL Technical Report (2008)