SWERA/Analysis Tools

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Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA)

Analysis ToolsPowered by OpenEI


OpenCarto houses the SWERA web based GIS application and provides the tools and data to support a variety of user communities in both small and large project planning, feasibility assessment, policy making, and decision support. The interface is designed to support collaboration across industries, geography, and research domains by providing interoperability between a wide range of data types and data sources. All of the data accessible through the SWERA application can be made available as web services based on spatial data standards and the application itself can display and explore data from any standards based spatial data service provider. This support for interoperability allows data from a wide range of providers including government, industry, and academia to be seamlessly integrated into one interface for analysis, querying, and exploration.

Because the OpenCarto framework was developed to support multiple independent applications each application has an intuitive, self-contained interface that provides users with a focused portal specific to their needs. This is expressed in the SWERA web based GIS where the potential to provide users with a very large catalog of data does not present data overload in the interface, an identified issue related to many data catalogues.


HOMER is used for designing and analyzing hybrid power systems, which contain a mix of conventional generators, cogeneration, wind turbines, solar photovoltaics, hydropower, batteries, fuel cells, hydropower, biomass and other inputs.

HOMER simplifies the task of evaluating design options for both off-grid and grid-connected power systems for remote, stand-alone, and distributed generation (DG) applications. HOMER's optimization and sensitivity analysis algorithms allow the user to evaluate the economic and technical feasibility of a large number of technology options and to account for variation in technology costs and energy resource availability. HOMER simulates both conventional and renewable energy technologies and finds the least cost combination of components that meets electrical and thermal loads. It simulates the operation of a system by making energy balance calculations for each of the 8,760 hours in a year. After simulating all of the possible system configurations, HOMER displays a list of feasible systems, sorted by lifecycle cost. You can also perform a sensitivity analysis on most inputs to examine the effect of changes in the value on the results.

Geospatial Toolkits

The Geospatial Toolkit (GsT) is an NREL-developed map-based software application that integrates resource data and other geographic information systems (GIS) data for integrated resource assessment. The non-resource, country-specific data for each GsT comes from a variety of agencies within each country as well as from global datasets.

Funding for the toolkit was provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Originally developed in 2005, the GsT was completely redesigned and re-released in November 2010 to provide a more modern, easier-to-use interface with considerably faster analytical querying capabilities. The revised version of the Geospatial Toolkit has been released for all original GsT countries/regions and each software package is listed in the table below

GsT Information

Expand the categories to view the available GsT data and tools.


The RETScreen International Clean Energy Project Analysis Software is a unique decision support tool developed with the contribution of numerous experts from government, industry, and academia. The software, provided free-of-charge, can be used worldwide to evaluate the energy production and savings, life-cycle costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for various types of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies (RETs). The software also includes product, cost and climate databases, and a detailed online user manual. Other tools include: a case study based on a college/university-level training course; an engineering electronic textbook; and an extensive Website. All of these tools are available free-of-charge in English and French, with many of the tools available in other languages.

The RETScreen International Clean Energy Decision Support Centre seeks to build the capacity of planners, decision-makers and industry to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. This objective is achieved by: developing decision-making tools (e.g. RETScreen Software) that reduce the cost of pre-feasibility studies; disseminating knowledge to help people make better decisions; and by training people to better analyse the technical and financial viability of possible projects. RETScreen International is managed under the leadership and ongoing financial support of Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) CANMET Energy Technology Centre - Varennes (CETC-Varennes).