Intersections of Disadvantaged Communities and Renewable Energy Potential: Analyses to Inform Equitable Investment Prioritization

Megan Day, Liz Ross, Christiana Ivanova, Akua McLeod, Jane Lockshin

Research output: NRELPresentation


Renewable energy development can bolster local economies through job creation, local tax revenues, and reduced energy costs; however, communities most in need of economic development and employment opportunities often see lower levels of renewable energy deployment. Megan Day and Liz Ross, along with their co-authors and supported by NREL's Sustainable Communities Catalyzer, identified areas where disadvantaged community indicators intersect with high potential for renewable energy deployment. Through a geospatial intersection of energy burden, environmental hazard, and sociodemographic data with the technical generation potential and levelized cost of energy for multiple renewable energy technologies, we identified trends across disadvantaged community indicators and renewable energy deployment potential. Combining metrics across several tools, including the State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) platform, the Low-Income Energy Affordability (LEAD) tool, and the Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping (EJSCREEN) tool, we compiled a dataset that can be used to inform national- and state-level energy-related assistance programs, economic development efforts, and infrastructure programs seeking to prioritize investments in disadvantage communities.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the EERE Equity Community of Practice, 17 November 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A50-81527


  • catalyzer
  • Colorado
  • disadvantaged communities
  • energy burden
  • equitable investment
  • household
  • hydropower
  • local
  • low income
  • PV
  • sociodemographic
  • solar
  • sustainable communities
  • utility
  • wind


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