Renewable Energy Technology Characterizations

In 1996, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Utility Technologies (OUT) and the Electric Power Research Institute began preparing a document characterizing the current status and projected performance and cost improvements of several emerging renewable energy technologies. This detailed document was recently completed and can now be downloaded as a collection of files on the OUT Web site organized under the following major headings: Biomass, Geothermal, Photovoltaic (PV) Technologies, Solar Thermal Technologies, Wind Technologies, Project Financial Evaluation, and Energy Storage Technologies. (DOE April 3, 1998)


U.S. Department of Energy Office of Utility Technologies

Renewable Energy Technology Characterizations

A joint project of the Office of Utility Technologies, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute

The Renewable Energy Technology Characterizations describe the technical and economic status of the major emerging renewable energy options for electricity supply. These technology characterizations represent the best estimates of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) regarding the future performance and cost improvements expected for these technologies as a result of continuing research and development (R&D) and development of markets for renewable energy through the year 2030.

These technology characterizations, which have existed as working drafts primarily for internal use at DOE, were originated in 1989 to support analyses in the development of the first National Energy Strategy. Because of growing interest in renewable energy technologies, an increasing number of researchers and energy policy analysts have expressed interest in having access to these technology characterizations. In response to requests to make these data more widely available, the current updates can now be downloaded from this Web site and are also available in paper form (EPRI Topical Report No. TR-109496, December 1997).

Copying and Distribution
The Renewable Energy Technology Characterizations are copyrighted, but permission is granted for unlimited copying for noncommercial use.

Ordering Information for Paper Version
The paper version of the report is available from EPRI, at $50.00/copy for domestic U.S. customers. Requests for paper copies of this report, as well as pricing for non-U.S. customers, should be directed to: EPRI Distribution Center, 207 Coggins Drive, P.O. Box 23205, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523; (510) 934-4212.

Technology Characterizations

The technology characterizations can be downloaded by selecting the PDF files below. (You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 to view these files error free.) Learn about PDFs.

Front Matter (PDF 98KB)
Title page
Disclaimer and Copyright Notice
Report Summary and Abstract
Contents, Figures, and Tables

Introduction and Overview (PDF 279KB)

Overview of Biomass Technologies (PDF 38KB)
Gasification-Based Biomass (PDF 337KB)
Direct-Fired Biomass (PDF 84KB)
Biomass Co-Firing (PDF 229KB)

Overview of Geothermal Technologies (PDF 64KB)
Geothermal Hydrothermal (PDF 178KB)
Geothermal Hot Dry Rock (PDF 179KB)

Photovoltaic (PV) Technologies
Overview of PV Technologies (PDF 368KB)
Residential PV (PDF 808KB)
Utility-Scale Flat-Plate Thin Film PV (PDF 349KB)
Utility-Scale PV Concentrators (PDF 119KB)

Solar Thermal Technologies
Overview of Solar Thermal Technologies (PDF 304KB)
Solar Power Tower (PDF 311KB)
Solar Parabolic Trough (PDF 380KB)
Solar Dish Engine (PDF 910KB)

Wind Technologies
Overview of Wind Technologies (PDF 227KB)
Advanced Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbines in Wind Farms (PDF 353KB)

Project Financial Evaluation (PDF 343KB)
Introduction to Figures of Merit
Financial Structures
Techniques for Calculating Levelized COE
Financial Model and Results
Payback Period

Appendix: Energy Storage Technologies
Overview of Energy Storage Technologies (PDF 36KB)
Battery Storage for Renewable Energy Systems (PDF 112KB)


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