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CREST Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool: a model for developing cost-based incentives in the United States user manual


This manual aims to guide state policy makers in the evaluation and development of cost-based incentives, including feed-in tariffs (FITs) and similar policies, to support renewable energy technologies.

This user manual describes five modules of the Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool (CREST) model, one for each of the following technologies:

  • Solar (photovoltaic or solar thermal electric)
  • Wind
  • Geothermal
  • Anaerobic Digestion
  • Fuel Cell

The common features of these five modules are described in the main body of the manual. Features specific to the individual technologies are explained in the appendices.

The primary intended uses of CREST include:

  • Estimating the cost of energy (COE) from a range of solar, wind, geothermal, anaerobic digester, and fuel cell electricity generation projects for the purpose of informing the setting of cost-based incentive rates
  • Gaining an understanding of the economic drivers of renewable energy projects, which lead to the calculated COE
  • Understanding the relative economics of generation projects with differing characteristics, such as project size, resource quality, location (e.g., near or far from transmission) or ownership (e.g., public or private).

Read CREST Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool: a model for developing cost-based incentives in the United States user manual.