NREL's Renewable Energy Project Finance Website
...features news articles, analyses, tools, publications, and other resources developed by the NREL Project Finance Team. Renewable energy project finance is a very dynamic field, and as such, the Finance Team strives to provide up-to-date reporting and analysis that tracks market and policy developments. Topics covered on the website range from:
- project-level finance (terms, structures, and innovations);
- renewable energy policy at the international, national, state and municipal level;
- state-of-the-market for most commercial and some emerging renewable technologies; to
- high renewable penetration scenarios.
The website’s primary audience includes: potential and existing investors in renewable energy generation projects; utilities and their regulators; policymakers; and U.S. Department of Energy program managers.
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- Here, you can find original, objective, credible analysis about renewable energy project financing and explore market and state-level incentives, project financing structures, and other important and timely issues.
- For a deeper dive into renewable energy project finance and policy, check out these more in-depth analyses from the NREL Project Finance team, including on the following topics: U.S. Federal loan guarantees, public debt and power purchase agreement hybrid model, and a state and local power purchase agreement checklist.
- See the Publications webpage for a full list of the Project Finance Team's technical reports, fact sheets, and published presentations.
- The Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool (CREST) is an economic cash flow model designed to enable PUCs and the renewable energy community assess projects, design cost-based incentives (e.g., feed-in tariffs), and evaluate the impact of tax incentives or other support structures. CREST is a suite of three analytic tools, for solar (photovoltaic and solar thermal), wind, and geothermal technologies, respectively. The model is a product of a 2009-2010 partnership between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP), and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions (NARUC). The model was developed by Sustainable Energy Advantage (SEA) under the direction of NREL.
- SAM makes performance predictions and cost of energy estimates for grid-connected power projects based on installation and operating costs and system design parameters that you specify as inputs to the model. Projects can be either on the customer side of the utility meter, buying and selling electricity at retail rates, or on the utility side of the meter, selling electricity at a price negotiated through a power purchase agreement (PPA). SAM was developed and is maintained by NREL and is periodically updated.
- Launched in December 2009, the REFTI project is an effort of the Project Team designed to track renewable energy project financing terms. Information tracked through the project includes debt interest rates, equity returns, financial structure applied, PPA duration, and other information. All information gathered is released on an aggregated basis to ensure confidentiality.