SERA: Scenario Evaluation and Regionalization Analysis Model

SERA icon

The Scenario Evaluation and Regionalization Analysis (SERA) model provides insights that can guide infrastructure development and transportation investment decisions and accelerate the adoption of hydrogen at scale, whether for fuel cell electric vehicles or non-transportation applications.

The SERA model can evaluate both the supply and demand sides of the hydrogen market. The SERA model has been used to:

  • Design the cost-optimal hydrogen supply-chain infrastructure needed to support a growing hydrogen market
  • Quantify alternative vehicle adoption
  • Estimate fleet-wide travel, fuel, and energy consumption
  • Identify the optimal number, size, and locations of hydrogen fueling stations
  • Quantify the number and capacity of different types of hydrogen production units (e.g. steam methane reform and carbon capture and storage, electrolysis, methane pyrolysis, coal or biomass gasification, etc.) needed to satisfy demand in a cost- and spatially-optimized manner.

Developed at NREL, SERA is an extensive systems analysis model that considers both market factors—such as supply and demand―and technology factors—such as availability, cost, and performance—to design hydrogen supply chain infrastructure from a city-scale up to a national road map in support of both transportation and non-transportation applications.

SERA inputs are highly flexible and can be custom-configured to address a variety of user-defined scenarios, assess region-specific or nation-wide investment and market growth dynamics, and  complement other NREL and U.S. Department of Energy infrastructure analysis tools.


Current SERA model capabilities include:

  • Model alternative powertrain adoption, vehicle-miles traveled, and energy consumption
  • Estimate early-adopter locations for alternative powertrain vehicles
  • Optimize hydrogen refueling station build-out over both time and location
  • Cost-optimize hydrogen supply-chain infrastructure (production, transmission, and distribution)
  • Estimate vehicle and infrastructure costs, cash flows, financing, and incentives
  • Readily add new technologies to an analysis.


These publications describe the SERA modeling framework and provide examples of how SERA has been used to explore hydrogen infrastructure deployment scenarios.

California Hydrogen Analysis Project: The Future Role of Hydrogen in a Carbon-Neutral California, University of California, Davis Institute of Transportation Studies Report (2023)

Scenario Evaluation and Regionalization Analysis (SERA) Model: Demand Side and Refueling Infrastructure Buildout, NREL Technical Report (2019)

Modeling Hydrogen Refueling Infrastructure to Support Passenger Vehicles, Energies (2018)

National Hydrogen Scenarios: How Many Stations, Where, and When?, Report Prepared by NREL for the H2USA Locations Roadmap Working Group (2017)

SERA Scenarios of Early Market Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Introductions: Modeling Framework, Regional Markets, and Station Clustering, NREL Technical Report (2013)


SERA is currently a close-sourced model. If you are interested in learning more about the model or its capabilities, contact Mark Chung, 303-384-6404.