Models and Tools

Use models and tools developed or supported by NREL to assess, analyze, and optimize renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies for your project. Many of these tools can be applied on a global, regional, local, or project basis. NREL models and tools include several designed for the consumer or energy professional.

Technology and Performance Analysis


Calculate electrical energy produced by a grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system for U.S. locations.


In My Backyard (IMBY)

Estimate the electricity you can produce with a solar photovoltaic array at your home or business.


Building Life-Cycle Cost (BLCC)

Analyze capital investments in buildings. Includes the Energy Escalation Rate Calculator 2.0-11.


EnergyPlus Simulation Program

Helps building designers and owners save money, reduce energy use, and improve indoor air quality.


Federal Renewable Energy Screening Assistant (FRESA)

Helps federal agencies analyze the use of renewable energy technologies for buildings and facilities.


Solar Deployment System (SolarDS)

Examine the market competitiveness of solar PV technologies from the building user’s perspective. Contact Paul Denholm or read documentationPDF for more information.


Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA) Model

Use NREL’s geospatial toolkit to visualize solar and wind resource data in 13 developing countries. Contact Dan Getman for more information.


Scenario Evaluation, Regionalization and Analysis (SERA)

Determine optimal production and delivery scenarios for hydrogen, with this geospatial and temporal infrastructure analysis model.


Biomass Scenario Model (BSM)

Determine which supply chain changes would have the greatest potential to accelerate the deployment of biofuels.


Theoretical Ethanol Yield Calculator

Calculate the theoretical ethanol yield of a particular biomass feedstock, based on its sugar content.


Energy Systems Analysis

Interactive Mapping Tools

Access RE Atlas, Solar Power Prospector, PV Watts, and other popular tools that dynamically generate maps of renewable energy resources.


Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS)

NREL uses this multi-regional, multi-time period, GIS and linear programming model of U.S. electric sector capacity expansion to analyze critical issues in the electric sector.



Evaluate design options for both off-grid and grid-connected power systems for remote, stand-alone, and distributed generation applications. HOMER is licensed to and maintained by Homer Energy.


Buildings Industry Transportation Electricity Scenarios (BITES)

See how changes in energy demand and supply by economic sector can impact carbon dioxide emissions.