Anthony Lopez is a senior researcher in the Geospatial Data Science Group within the Strategic Energy Analysis Center. Lopez has co-founded several pivotal NREL research programs, including the National Solar Radiation Database and the Renewable Energy Potential model. Lopez’s recent research has been recognized at a national level and focuses on modeling wind supply with land use constraints—an emerging area of research in the clean energy transition. He has co-authored and contributed to congressional reports on emerging wind energy technologies and their siting constraints, which are illuminating pathways to achieving a decarbonized energy system.

Research Interests

Renewable energy siting and land-use requirements

Wind technology innovation and impacts to national potential assessments

Systems modeling

Techno-economic modeling


M.S., Geographic Information Science, University of Denver

B.S., Geography, University of Northern Colorado

Professional Experience

NREL, Senior Researcher (2020–present)

Independent Consultant (2019–2020)

Manager of Emerging Technologies, MAXAR (2018–2019)

NREL, Senior Geospatial Data Scientist (2009–2018)

GIS Specialist, SWCA Environmental Consultants (2007–2009)

Featured Work

 Dynamic Land Use Implications of Rapidly Expanding and Evolving Wind Power Deployment, Environmental Research Letters (2022)

Interactions of Wind Energy Project Siting, Wind Resource Potential, and the Evolution of the U.S. Power System, Energy (2021)

Land Use and Turbine Technology Influences on Wind Potential in the United States, Energy (2021)

The National Solar Radiation Data Base (NSRDB)Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (2018)

Evaluation of the National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB Version 2): 1998–2015, NREL Technical Report (2017)

It's Indisputable: Five Facts About Planning and Operating Modern Power Systems, IEEE Power and Energy Magazine (2017) 

Relative Performance of Tracking Versus Fixed Tilt Photovoltaic Systems in the USA, Progress in Photovoltaics (2013) 

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

Awards and Honors

Most Promising Scientist, Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (2022)

Outstanding Achievements—Alumni, The Greeley Dream Team (2022)

Chairman’s Award, NREL (2014)