Ella Zhou is a member of the Grid Operations Planning Group in the Grid Planning and Analysis Center. Her expertise includes electric power system modeling, power system economics, and the impacts of high penetration of renewable energy, electrification, and demand response. 

Research Interests

Deep decarbonization strategies

Climate change impacts on energy systems

Water-energy nexus


M.A., Political Science, Harvard University

B.A., Literature and Law, Beijing Foreign Studies University

P.C., Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies, Stanford University

Professional Experience

Senior Research Assistant, The Brookings Institution (2011–2014)

Clean Energy Investment Consultant, Claro International (2010–2011)

Featured Work

Electrification Futures Study: Operational Analysis of U.S. Power Systems with Increased Electrification and Demand-Side FlexibilityNREL Technical Report (2021)

Absorbing the Sun: Operational Practices and Balancing Reserves in Florida's Municipal Utilities, NREL Technical Report (2021)

Building Demand Flexibility: Grid Service Value of Future Market Entrants, NREL Technical Report (2020)

Analysis of the Cost and Value of Concentrating Solar Power in China, NREL Technical Report (2019)

Ten Principles for Power Sector Transformation in Emerging Economies, NREL Technical Report (2019)

Valuing Variable Renewable Energy for Peak Demand Requirements, Energy (2018)

Evolving Distributed Generation Support Mechanisms: Case Studies from United States, Germany, United Kingdom, and Australia, NREL Technical Report (2017)

Water and Climate Impacts on Power System Operations: The Importance of Cooling Systems and Demand Response Measures, NREL Technical Report (2016)

Electricity Capacity Expansion Modeling, Analysis, and Visualization: A Summary of High-Renewable Modeling Experiences, NREL Technical Report (2015)

Renewables-Friendly' Grid Development Strategies: Experience in the United States, NREL Technical Report (2015)

View all NREL publications for Ella Zhou.