Owen Zinaman

Owen Zinaman

Researcher IV-Policy Analysis


Owen Zinaman is a senior researcher in the Grid Operations Planning Group within NREL's Grid Planning and Analysis Center. He provides targeted analysis, technical assistance, and training to energy offices, regulatory bodies, and electric utilities, and has authored more than 50 reports on the modernization of electricity systems. He has worked extensively with stakeholders in the United States and around the world including South Africa, Mexico, India, Colombia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Also, Owen has worked as an independent consultant for the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the 21st Century Power Partnership, and other organizations promoting best practices for power system transformation.

Research Interests

Distributed generation policy and program design

Integration of renewable energy into power systems

Utility rate design and business model innovation

Long-term power sector planning


M.S., Engineering–Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

B.S., Engineering–Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Professional Experience

Senior Policy and Market Analyst, NREL (2020–Present)

Independent Consultant, Clean Energy Transition Partners (2017–2019)

Senior International Energy Analyst, NREL (2012–2017)

Featured Work

USAID Energy Storage Decision Guide for Policymakers, USAID-NREL Partnership Report (2021)

Distributed Solar Utility Tariff and Revenue Impact Analysis: A Guidebook for International Practitioners, USAID-NREL Partnership Report (2020)

An Overview of Behind-the-Meter Solar-Plus-Storage Regulatory Design, NREL Technical Report (2020)

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

Status of Power System Transformation 2018 - Advanced Power Plant Flexibility, International Energy Agency Report (2018)

The Political Economy of Clean Energy Transitions, Oxford University Press (2017)

Effects on National Energy Planning and Energy Security. Strategic Environmental Assessment for Shale Gas Development, South Africa Department of Environmental Affairs (2017)

Grid-Connected Distributed Generation: Compensation Mechanism Basics, NREL Fact Sheet (2017)

Next Generation Performance-Based Regulation to Support Power System Transformation, NREL Technical Report (2017)

RE-TRANSITION: Transitioning to Policy Frameworks for Cost-Competitive Renewables, International Energy Agency–Renewable Energy Technology Deployment Report (2016)

View all NREL publications for Owen Zinaman