Many on-line tools are available to help assess the feasibility of small renewable energy systems and energy efficiency, particularly wind and solar.
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) In My BackYard (IMBY)
Estimates the production and basic cost effectiveness of solar electric and small wind. Allows users to “draw” installations on their own homes or businesses through Google Maps interface.
- NREL Solar America Communities SolOpt Optimization Tool
“SolOpt is a tool for optimizing and sizing rooftop photovoltaic and solar hot water system installations.”
- Natural Resource Canada RETScreen International©
“The RETScreen 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, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for various types of Renewable-energy and Energy-efficient Technologies (RETs). The software (available in multiple languages) also includes product, project, hydrology and climate databases, a detailed user manual, and a case study based college/university-level training course, including an engineering e-textbook.”
- Energy Matter’s Solar Estimator
A solar electric, solar thermal, and wind assessment tool supplied by the solar and wind energy industry; provides information on resource and economic return.
- USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Energy Self-Assessment
These tools focus on agricultural producers, including efficiency of systems, such as irrigation, and renewable energy assessment, such as solar-powered livestock watering.
- EPA Combined Heat and Power Partnership Assessment Tool
This more involved assessment tool allows larger facilities to evaluate their technical and economic suitability for combined heat and power.