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Publications on Energy Planning

Learn about ways to incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy into energy planning from publications produced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

A Renewable Energy Community: Key Elements
This National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) technical report provides examples of the elements necessary to develop a renewable energy community, including sustainable design approaches, efficient transportation options, and the utility's role in renewable energy communities.

Community Greening: How to Develop a Strategic Energy Plan
A DOE step-by-step guide for city leaders who want to develop a strategic plan using policies that encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy in their communities. The guide walks you through nine steps of a community energy planning cycle and provides examples of other community plans.

Local Energy Plans in Practice: Case Studies of Austin and Denver
This technical report summarizes NREL's analysis of climate-oriented energy plans for the cities of Austin, Texas, and Denver, Colorado. Learn about how the energy plans are structured to address the political, fiscal, and logistical realities of the city, implementation successes and obstacles, partner roles, financing, and results.

Net Zero Energy Military Installations: A Guide to Assessment and Planning
This NREL technical report identifies an assessment and planning process that military installations can use to evaluate opportunities to produce as much energy on-site as the facilities consume. It presents a systematic framework to analyze energy projects at installations while balancing other site priorities such as mission, cost, and security.

Oahu Wind Integration and Transmission Study: Summary Report
This summary report presents the findings of an NREL-led technical review committee that helps guide the Oahu Wind Integration and Transmission Study (OWITS) as part of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. The OWITS project focuses on integrating 400 megawatts (MW) of wind power from Molokai and/or Lanai to Oahu and installing a 200 MW cable system to interconnect Maui. Learn about the different studies and scenarios used to determine the feasibility of wind integration with an undersea cable in Oahu.

Rebuilding After Disaster: Going Green from the Ground Up
Based on DOE lessons learned from technical assistance provided to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Greensburg, Kansas, this document outlines steps for city leaders to follow that can be applicable to any community, not just those recovering from a natural disaster. Learn about reasons for going green, what it means to be a green community, and how to update your existing community plan.

Rebuilding Greensburg, Kansas, as a Model Green Community: A Case Study
This comprehensive case study describes technical assistance provided by NREL to help Greensburg, Kansas, rebuild as a green community after an EF-5 tornado nearly leveled the town in 2007. It includes information about key considerations such as resource availability, integrated energy planning, energy efficiency, community-scale and distributed power, transportation, and more.

Renewable Power Options for Electrical Generation on Kaua'i: Economics and Performance Modeling
This NREL technical report details the economic and technical analysis NREL completed for Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative, through DOE's Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, to assess the feasibility of integrating higher levels of renewable energy into the electric power system of the island of Kaua'i, as well as discussions on how to model photovoltaic inverters in the electrical grid.

Steps to Developing the New Orleans Strategic Plan
This NREL presentation provides an overview of strategic energy planning, case studies, and suggested next steps for implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy into rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, Louisiana.

2009 Renewable Energy Data Book
This reference book features data on U.S. energy production and consumption, renewable electricity generation and capacity, renewable installed by state, and global renewable energy data by technology type from 2000 to 2009.