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Renewable Energy Technical Potential

The renewable energy technical potential of a technology is its achievable energy generation given system performance, topographic, environmental, and land-use constraints.

Illustration of a pyramid that shows potential grow smaller at each level from Resource to Technical to Economic to Market.

The benefit of assessing technical potential is that it establishes an upper-boundary estimate of development potential. There are multiple types of potential—resource, technical, economic, and market—as shown in the graphic with key assumptions.

Technical Potential Resources

This report provides technical potential estimates for six renewable energy technologies.

U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis, NREL Technical Report (2012)

Maps for multiple renewable energy technologies are available in this PowerPoint file.

United States Renewable Energy Technical Potential

Data by state for renewable energy technical potential are summarized in this spreadsheet, which includes sources and references.

Data Spreadsheet - United States Renewable Energy Technical Potential

PowerPoint - United States Renewable Energy Technical Potential