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Resources and Training

Use these resources and trainings to learn more about how to find, analyze, and use renewable energy data. If you are already familiar with the RE Data Explorer, you can Launch RE Data Explorer or Take a Tutorial.

Highlighted Resource:

Renewable Energy Data Assessment Checklist—This simple, easy-to-use spreadsheet provides a framework for comparing available renewable energy data to the "best-in-class" and "minimum-threshold" data requirements for various types of renewable energy analyses (e.g., generator performance modeling, assessments of technical and economic potential, capacity expansion modeling, production cost modeling, and power flow modeling). Use this checklist to determine which data sets you need to perform analyses for various types of renewable energy decisions.

Identify the Best Resources by Asking Key Questions

Renewable Energy Data, Analysis, and Decisions: A Guide for Practitioners—Intended to support policymakers, planners, and practitioners in making informed renewable energy decisions, this guide presents practical information to support links across renewable energy data and analysis to enable smart renewable energy target setting, policymaking, power sector planning, and investment decisions.

RE Data Explorer: Informing Variable Renewable Energy Grid Integration for Low Emission Development—Integrating variable renewable energy into the grid requires data-driven analysis to evaluate efficient ways to deliver wind and solar energy to meet demand and inform detailed generation, transmission, and system operations planning. This fact sheet describes how geospatial analysis using the RE Data Explorer can provide a fundamental starting point for grid integration studies.

RE Data Explorer: Supporting Renewable Energy Zones to Enable Low Emission Development—This fact sheet is focused on the RE Data Explorer and describes how renewable energy geospatial analysis can support Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) and transmission planning processes.

Data for Renewable Energy Planning, Policy, and Investment—This fact sheet describes the types of geospatial and other data that are at the core of renewable energy analysis and decision making and provides a good starting point to understand the types of data required to support various renewable energy decisions.

Renewable Energy Data Assessment Checklist—This simple, easy-to-use spreadsheet can help decision makers identify which data sets may be needed to perform analyses for various renewable energy decisions.

RE Data Explorer Catalog—This resource is a centralized hub for research and discovery of renewable energy and other geospatial data sources that can inform decision making. In addition, it provides a place for researchers and other organizations to contribute and manage information about their own data sets that support successful energy transitions.

Best Practices Handbook for the Collection and Use of Solar Resource Data for Solar Energy Applications: Second Edition—This handbook provides detailed information on solar resource data to support solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar power planning and development.

Renewable Energy Data Explorer User Guide—This document seeks to provide a standard set of specifications and guidance to support sharing and integrating country-specific geospatial data that describe renewable energy resource distribution as well as other geographic features such as land use, terrain, infrastructure, and energy sector and/or national development indicators for use in the RE Data Explorer. These data, along with the analysis capabilities in the RE Data Explorer, can support the estimation of renewable energy potential and inform policy, planning, and investment decisions.

Launching the RE Data Explorer—Data and Analysis to Enable Renewable Energy Decisions—This webinar provides a high-level overview of the RE Explorer website and an introduction to the RE Data Explorer, highlighting its use in the Lower Mekong region and walking through its features and capabilities.

High Level Overview of Data Needs for RE Analysis—Provides an overview of the RE Data Explorer and information on its various features and capabilities, including technical potential analysis and big data downloads.

Renewable Energy (RE) Explorer and RE Data Explorer: Introduction—Introduces the RE Data Explorer and describes the relationship between good data and good decision making.

Renewable Energy Technical Potential Tutorial Series—Technical potential analysis is a key feature within the RE Data Explorer. The following tutorials provide practical information to support users in assessing renewable energy technical potential in various locations.

Submitting Data for Use in the Renewable Energy Data Explorer/Guidance to Third-Party Data Providers—This document seeks to provide a standard set of specifications and guidance to ensure an efficient process for sharing and integrating data for use in the RE Data Explorer. NREL welcomes and relies upon external partners (i.e., third-party data providers) to suggest new and/or updated data for inclusion in the RE Data Explorer. To support data sharing, NREL has developed these guidelines for formatting, describing, and recording data for inclusion in the RE Data Explorer.

Resource Library

Fact Sheets

The Renewable Energy Data Explorer: Mapping Our Renewable Energy Future—This fact sheet provides information on the RE Data Explorer, the flagship geospatial analysis tool of the RE Explorer, which is used to facilitate renewable energy decision making, investment, and deployment.

Data for Renewable Energy Planning, Policy, and Investment—This fact sheet describes the types of geospatial and other data that are at the core of renewable energy analysis and decision making and provides a good starting point to understand the types of data required to support various renewable energy decisions.

RE Data Explorer: Informing Variable Renewable Energy Grid Integration for Low Emission Development—Integrating variable renewable energy into the grid requires data-driven analysis to evaluate efficient ways to deliver wind and solar energy to meet demand and inform detailed generation, transmission, and system operations planning. This fact sheet describes how geospatial analysis using the RE Data Explorer can provide a fundamental starting point for grid integration studies.

RE Data Explorer: Supporting Renewable Energy Zones to Enable Low Emission Development—This fact sheet is focused on the RE Data Explorer and describes how renewable energy geospatial analysis can support Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) and transmission planning processes.

Guides

Renewable Energy Data Explorer User Guide—This document seeks to provide a standard set of specifications and guidance to support sharing and integrating country-specific geospatial data that describe renewable energy resource distribution as well as other geographic features such as land use, terrain, infrastructure, and energy sector and/or national development indicators for use in the RE Data Explorer. These data, along with the analysis capabilities in the RE Data Explorer, can support the estimation of renewable energy potential and inform policy, planning, and investment decisions.

RE Data Explorer Data Sources and Technical Potential Assumptions—As a complementary resource of the RE Data Explorer User Guide, this spreadsheet provides sources for data within the RE Data Explorer and further information on assumptions used for the technical potential analysis within the Explorer.

Submitting Data for Use in the Renewable Energy Data Explorer/Guidance to Third-Party Data Providers—This document seeks to provide a standard set of specifications and guidance to ensure an efficient process for sharing and integrating data for use in the RE Data Explorer. NREL welcomes and relies upon external partners (i.e., third-party data providers) to suggest new and/or updated data for inclusion in the RE Data Explorer. To support data sharing, NREL has developed these guidelines for formatting, describing, and recording data for inclusion in the RE Data Explorer.

Trainings

Launching the RE Data Explorer—Data and Analysis to Enable Renewable Energy Decisions—This webinar provides a high-level overview of the RE Explorer website and an introduction to the RE Data Explorer, highlighting its use in the Lower Mekong region and walking through its features and capabilities.

 

RE Data Explorer Tutorial—Each RE Data Explorer includes tutorials that can be accessed when the RE Data Explorers are launched. The trainings show users how to use the map controls, add and remove layers from the map, access metadata for the layers, download spatial data, customize layer styles, and perform spatial queries.

Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE): An Overview—This training video introduces LCOE and describes why it is important for data-driven decision making in energy planning. The training explains how to calculate the LCOE of electricity generating assets and describes key parameters, sensitivities, and some of its limitations. Example applications, analyses, and results are provided, as well as an introduction to the Transparent Cost Database.

The Renewable Energy Data Explorer Tool: Private Sector Applications—This training webinar introduces the RE Data Explorer, provides an overview of its functionality, and offers a detailed look at how private-sector developers and investors can use the RE Data Explorer to explore renewable energy opportunities in various locations where it is already in use, such as Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Pakistan.

Renewable Energy Technical Potential Tutorial Series—Technical potential analysis is a key feature within the RE Data Explorer. The following tutorials provide practical information to support users in assessing renewable energy technical potential in various locations.

Introduction to Technical Potential Analysis—Introduces the technical terms and concepts for assessing resource and technical potential for energy planning activities using the RE Data Explorer.

Assessing Technical Potential— Provides an overview of technical potential assessments in the RE Data Explorer, including defining energy potentials and selecting exclusions.

Using the Technical Potential Tool in the RE Data Explorer—Provides a step-by-step guide to using the RE Data Explorer and the Technical Potential tool.

Presentations

Renewable Energy (RE) Explorer and RE Data Explorer: Introduction—Introduces the RE Data Explorer and describes the relationship between good data and good decision making.

High Level Overview of Data Needs for RE Analysis—Provides an overview of the RE Data Explorer and information on its various features and capabilities, including technical potential analysis and big data downloads.

Renewable Energy (RE) Explorer and RE Data Explorer—Mapping Our Energy Future—Provides information on the RE Data Explorer, the flagship geospatial analysis tool of the RE Explorer, which is used to facilitate renewable energy decision making, investment, and deployment.

Tools

RE Data Explorer—This innovative online application provides country-specific renewable energy and other supporting geospatial data sets and analysis tools for several countries and regions.

RE Data Explorer Catalog—This resource is a centralized hub for research and discovery of renewable energy and other geospatial data sources that can inform decision making. In addition, it provides a place for researchers and other organizations to contribute and manage information about their own data sets that support successful energy transitions.

Renewable Energy Data Assessment Checklist—This simple, easy-to-use spreadsheet can help decision makers identify which data sets may be needed to perform analyses for various renewable energy decisions.

Data Visualization and Geospatial Tools—This diverse suite of geospatial web applications provides access to an extensive array of renewable energy datasets along with multiple customized analytical toolkits developed by NREL.

Transparent Cost Database—This database collects program cost and performance estimates for U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy technologies in a public forum where they can be viewed and compared to other published estimates. The database includes literature on technology costs, performance estimates, and levelized costs (both current and future projections) for electricity generation, biofuels, and vehicles.

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