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Geospatial Analysis

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.

Figure 1: Defining 'Potential'

Highlights of Recent Studies

U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis

This study summarizes the achievable energy generation, or technical potential, of specific renewable energy technologies given system performance, topographic limitations, 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

To find out more about this study and access the maps and data supporting the study, please visit: Renewable Energy Technical Potential

Find out more about NREL's geospatial analysis approach (tools, maps, data):

Find out more about other published GIS-based analyses:

For questions, contact Dan Getman.