Where We Work
RE Explorer provides renewable energy data, analytical tools, and technical assistance to developers, policymakers, and decision makers in developing countries.
Click on the map to launch the RE Data Explorer for a specific country.
Renewable Energy Data Explorer Partner Countries
Modeled wind data in Bangladesh was recently and thoroughly validated after an extensive, multiyear meteorological data-collection campaign. The resulting datasets were uploaded into the RE Data Explorer. Bangladesh is active in solar development, primarily behind the meter, but has only negligible wind energy generation. With advances in turbine technology (e.g., larger towers and rotor diameters), designed specifically for class III wind sites such as those in Bangladesh, wind may contribute to meeting the nation's clean energy targets through utility-scale wind power development, especially in coastal regions. In addition to the validated modeled data set, data from all nine meteorological sites are available via a link within the RE Data Explorer. The Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority, a branch of the Government of Bangladesh's Ministry of Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources, will be using the RE Data Explorer to examine the potential for wind power, represented geospatially. This data may also inform decision making for wind energy developers, investors, transmission planners, and policymakers while reducing the uncertainty associated with high-level wind speed estimations. Other entities that are anticipated to use the RE Data Explorer to aid integration and planning include the Bangladesh Power Development Board and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh.
Through the United States–India Strategic Energy Partnership that brings together several Indian technical institutions, including the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), as well as U.S. national laboratories, the Renewable Energy (RE) Data Explorer is supporting renewable energy economic potential analyses that can inform development of renewable portfolio standards at the subnational level. The RE Data Explorer performs visualization analyses of renewable energy potential under user-defined scenarios and informs prospecting, integrated planning, and policymaking to accelerate renewable energy deployment in India.
Kazakhstan and Central Asia
The Central Asia RE Data Explorer is being used by policymakers and power-sector stakeholders to inform the development of a local renewable energy industry. In Kazakhstan, the RE Data Explorer is informing the selection and verification of sites that will host wind and solar energy projects. Tools and data from the RE Data Explorer are being used to assess the energy potential of specific wind and solar projects and are identifying additional sites that may be suitable for future auction rounds. Other Central Asia countries (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan) are using the RE Data Explorer as a central repository for high-quality wind and solar datasets that can be disseminated among power-sector stakeholders, providing access to information that informs renewable energy target setting and planning activities.
Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR)
In partnership with the government of Lao PDR, NREL and USAID supported a project called the Energy Alternatives Study for the Lao PDR, whichprovided the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) with improved tools, data, and analytical capabilities to inform their energy planning through 2030. MEM staff participated in collecting and analyzing energy resource and technology data, aiding MEM’s ability to evaluate and compare future energy project development and infrastructure planning opportunities. The RE Data Explorer will be used by MEM to support continuing projects, such as highlighting the potential for solar resources to complement existing hydropower to meet domestic demand, as well as to identify potential electricity export and import strategies.
USAID and NREL are collaborating with the Secretary of Energy (SENER) to develop the RE Data Explorer, which will support various energy policy decisions, system operator modeling, and private sector prospecting and investment. SENER and NREL are also partnering with several technical institutions to provide important data layers such as the location of protected lands, political boundaries, and transportation infrastructure. The RE Data Explorer is assessing the technical and economic potential for wind and solar technologies in Mexico and has helped in the analysis of Renewable Energy Zones for potential transmission sites. Later in 2018, NREL will use Mexico's RE Data Explorer tool to help specific Mexican states understand the potential for energy reform through renewable energy project development stemming from auctions or through state programs.
The Pakistan Renewable Energy (RE) Data Explorer includes solar and wind data from several sources—including the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP)—as well as modeled levelized cost of energy in geospatial representation. This data was requested by the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), an agency under the Government of Pakistan's Ministry of Water and Power. The tool is used by the AEDB and other government stakeholders to inform policy and guide efforts to meet government targets for alternative and renewable energies at an accelerated rate, including analysis of possibly creating new renewable energy zones. The wind and solar resource data are useful when overlaid with infrastructure layers, such as transmission, because resources in Pakistan are highly concentrated in a few areas located far from load centers. The RE Data Explorer provides a helpful geographic representation to developers, investors, transmission planners, policymakers, and other stakeholders for integrated renewable energy planning.
The RE Data Explorer has allowed the government of Peru to understand the technical and economic potential of renewable energy resources for specific locations or regions; informed policy and investment decisions through accurate data and analysis; and has helped set renewable energy goals that are realistic and obtainable, yet adequately ambitious. While NREL and the Bureau of Energy Resources at the Department of State teams were primarily responsible for the analysis of Peru's first use of the RE Data Explorer, NREL will deliver further training that will enable the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM) to conduct its own analyses moving forward. This capability will help Peru make future energy policy decisions based on data, while also helping to incentivize renewable energy auctions that are informed by the RE Data Explorer's data, resulting in both increased investor activity and the likelihood of project completion.
In 2015, USAID and the Philippines Department of Energy (PDOE) launched the Wind Atlas for the Philippines, a state-of-the-art, four-terabyte dataset providing accurate maps and other data to support the public and private sector in identifying ideal wind power development areas. This large dataset, along with geospatial data delineating terrain, infrastructure, land use, and other project development considerations, was incorporated for visualization, analysis, and download via the RE Data Explorer. Building on this investment, the PDOE and USAID co-chaired development of a renewable energy grid integration study for the Luzon and Visayas regions. Using the detailed wind data available in the RE Data Explorer as a basis for simulating power system operations with 30% and 50% renewable energy penetration by 2030, the study provided evidence that these high renewable energy targets are technically feasible.
Currently, USAID and PDOE are using the data and capabilities in the RE Data Explorer to identify study areas for Renewable Energy Zones, which are geographic areas characterized by high-quality renewable energy resources and suitable topography and land-use designations (among other factors) to support project development.
Through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Regional Connectivity Program, the RE Data Explorer was used to inform public and private investment in renewable energy projects. The NREL publication Capturing Inter-Annual Variability of PV Energy Production in South Asia, describes the results that are housed on the RE Data Explorer.
The Southeast Asia RE Data Explorer provides a consistent platform across Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to enable decision makers to access renewable energy resource data, visualize the distribution of renewable energy resources relative to other project development considerations, and estimate renewable energy potential. Facilitated by a partnership among the USAID Clean Power Asia program, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Center for Energy, and NREL, the Southeast Asia RE Data Explorer will support technical and economic potential analyses to inform solar and wind energy target-setting and transmission planning at both the national and regional levels. In addition, the Southeast Asia RE Data Explorer will soon include the capability to map the levelized cost of electricity of solar and wind resources based on regional techno-economic data. This capability will provide a reference for policymakers as they design incentives and auctions, and also for renewable energy project developers and investors as they screen potential areas for development.
Scaling up clean energy is an essential part of Vietnam's National Green Growth Strategy. Working with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), Vietnam's Thanh Hoa province developed its own Green Growth Action Plan that seeks to reduce the province's greenhouse gas emissions by 14% by 2020 and 23% by 2030. These targets were developed using the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) System and NREL's Renewable Energy (RE) Data Explorer tool, which evaluated and identified locations for potential solar, wind, and biomass energy development. As policymakers begin implementing the Action Plan, new renewable energy investment opportunities are being catalyzed. Read more here.