Skip to main content

Energy Resource and Infrastructure Assessments

NREL conducts techno-economic, resource, and infrastructure assessments—producing high-resolution maps and data—for countries. These assessments inform their building, industry, power system, and transportation planning; market designs and policies; infrastructure investments; and research programs.

Biomass Resource Assessments

Biomass resource assessments quantify the existing or potential biomass material in a given area. We evaluate biomass resources statistically and spatially using geographic information systems (GIS) and other techniques. This analysis examines the amount of resources available or potentially available in a region, as well as their geographic distribution. See available country assessments.

Solar and Wind Energy Assessments

Renewable Energy (RE) Explorer provides renewable energy data, and technical assistance to developers, policymakers, and decision makers in developing countries. This includes GIS-based overlays of renewable energy resource data with information on load, transmission, land-use, and other factors. The data helps inform policy and project development decisions on optimizing energy system design and renewable energy deployment to meet national energy, economic, and climate goals. Visit RE Explorer.

The National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB) is an international collection of solar radiation and meteorological data capable of providing users with a snapshot of the amount of solar energy available at a specified time in a specified location. The database provides hourly and half-hourly values of global horizontal, direct normal, and diffuse horizontal irradiance—the three most common measurements of solar radiation. These data have been collected at a sufficient number of locations and spatial and temporal scales to accurately represent regional solar radiation climates worldwide. Used in models such as System Advisor Model (SAM), PVWatts, and Solar Integration National Dataset (SIND) Toolkit, NSRDB data enables solar system designers, planners, and engineers to predict the potential solar energy available in a specified location based on past solar radiation and meteorological conditions.

We also contribute to the Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy, a collaborative, open-architecture project led by the International Renewable Energy Agency for Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group of the Clean Energy Ministerial.

In cooperation with the United Nations Environment Program, we have produced high-resolution maps and data sets of solar and wind energy resources for more than a dozen developing countries through the Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment initiative. The resource data are integrated into a GIS framework that allows the resource data to be combined with key geographic and demographic data.

Global Energy Assessments

We collaborate with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis on the Global Energy Assessment and with the International Energy Agency on renewable energy scenarios for the World Energy Outlook.

Alternative Fuel Station Mapping

NREL created the Electric Charging and Alternative Fueling Stations Locator for Canada to help members of the public and fleet identify fueling infrastructure near garage locations or along their routes.

Vehicle Fleet Assessment

We have worked with Mexico, Jamaica, and several other countries to install data loggers to evaluate energy performance of vehicle fleets and to identify opportunities for optimizing energy efficiency and use of low carbon fuels and technologies, including electric mobility.