NREL Annual Technology
Baseline (ATB)


To help inform electric sector analysis in the United States, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) each year provides both a robust set of modeling input assumptions for energy technologies (the Annual Technology Baseline) and a diverse set of potential futures or energy modeling scenarios (Standard Scenarios).

NREL 2018 Annual Technology Baseline

The NREL Annual Technology Baseline (ATB)-which is documented here-provides a transparent set of technology cost and performance data for NREL analysis. The ATB data are freely available for use by others in their energy analysis. Learn more about the approach and methodology employed by the ATB, including the sources of current costs it uses and projections on which it relies.

The ATB represents a populated framework to identify technology-specific cost and performance parameters or other investment decision metrics across a range of resource characteristics, sites, or fuel price assumptions for electricity generation technologies both at present and with projections through 2050. Because of the lag time associated with data development, the base year for the 2018 ATB is 2016. The ATB website includes:

  • A comparison of input assumptions to recent historical trends (which demonstrates the extent to which model inputs represent the current state of technology)
  • Projections of future technology cost and performance relative to other published projections (which illustrate results for a variety of sources)
  • Normalized definitions of variables.


The ATB, which is supported by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Office of Strategic Programs & Impact Analysis, leverages and continues significant activity funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and EERE for individual technologies and market segments.

The ATB in 2018

In August 2018, NREL released the 2018 ATB, including the 2018 ATB Cost and Performance Summary of current and projected technology cost and performance data—capacity factor, capital expenditures, fuel cost, operations and maintenance costs, and levelized costs of energy—for 12 generation technologies.