Local Power: Comparing County-Level Renewable Energy Potential to Consumption Using the SLOPE Platform

Christiana Ivanova, Megan Day

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Wide-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Many communities have ambitious clean energy goals with targets for locally generated renewable energy. To inform state and local clean energy planning, analysts from the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) used data from NREL's State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) platform to compare annual technical generation potential of renewable energy technologies to modeled electricity consumption in every county of the contiguous United States. Annual costs were calculated to produce a 20% share of electricity consumed annually from each technology to examine localized cost effectiveness of a diversified mix of generation sources. For example, combining distributed and utility-scale wind and solar generation can offset the need for storage and nonintermittent fossil resources to achieve high deployment of renewables. This county-level analysis provides insight into where localized renewable energy generation could cost-effectively match annual electricity consumption.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A50-81378


  • communities
  • county
  • emissions
  • energy demand
  • equity
  • renewable energy
  • renewable energy potential
  • sustainability


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