Standard Scenarios

NREL's Standard Scenarios are a suite of forward-looking scenarios of the U.S. power sector that are updated annually to support and inform energy analysis.

Screenshot of modeled scenarios for the future of the electricity sector.

Detailed scenario results at the state level are available via the Standard Scenario Viewer and Data Downloader.

The Standard Scenarios are simulated using the Regional Energy Deployment System and Distributed Generation Market Demand Model capacity expansion models and are updated each year to provide timely information regarding power sector evolution. The scenarios have been designed to capture a range of possible power system futures and consider a variety of factors from high vehicle electrification to major cost declines for electricity generation technologies (e.g., using cost inputs from the Annual Technology Baseline).

For select scenarios, the models are run using the PLEXOS software and the Cambium tool that assembles structured data sets of hourly cost, emissions, and operational data for modeled futures. Results are available using the Scenario Viewer and Data Downloader.

Watch the 2023 Webinar Recording

Learn about the 2023 Standard Scenarios by watching the recording of the NREL webinar from Jan. 24, 2024.

Previous Standard Scenarios

Access previous scenario versions on the Annual Technology Baseline site.


Pieter Gagnon