The Economics and Forecasting Group within the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is hiring a postdoctoral researcher to join a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative team of researchers developing and applying state-of-the art power system models to conduct leading-edge analyses.
NREL is the nation’s primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Nestled in the foothills of Golden, Colorado, surrounded by grassland, and convenient to Denver, Boulder, and several suburbs, the NREL campus is a living experiment filled with curious researchers and concrete demonstrations of advanced energy technologies (e.g., best-in-class energy efficiency, daylighting, MW-scale solar photovoltaics, buildings heated by computers, optimized electric vehicle charging, hydrogen fueling station).
Job Duties and Responsibilities:
The Economics and Forecasting Group (EFG) develops and applies energy-economic models to evaluate and inform the evolution of energy systems from the regional to global scale. We are looking forward to welcoming a new postdoctoral researcher with expertise in power systems modeling to our team to conduct research around the future of the US power system.
Working with senior researchers, the successful candidate will develop and apply power system models—initially the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model—to evaluate and inform pathways to a decarbonized future power system in the US. The candidate will have the opportunity to engage on projects covering a broad set of crucial drivers to power sector evolution, including electricity markets, transmission infrastructure growth/investment, electrification, decarbonization, and reliability and extreme events. Broadly, the candidate will be responsible for a variety of tasks including model development, conducting scenario analysis, communicating results internally and externally through presentations at conferences, workshops, and other professional meetings, and leading the development of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Previous experience with energy and electricity modeling, as well as with analysis of the integration of renewable generation, energy sector policy/regulatory analysis, and an understanding of wholesale power markets are strongly preferred. Demonstrated experience presenting research findings to broad—technical and non-technical—audiences is required. Exceptional writing skills and a demonstrated record of publication in the technical/peer-reviewed literature is also strongly preferred.
Specific job duties may include:
- Contributing to the development and implementation of new advanced methods for capacity expansion modeling,
- Researching rules, trends, and issues in power system planning and operation—e.g., energy policies, transmission planning, renewable energy integration, emissions restrictions, changes in electricity demand—and consider how to implement them into electric sector models,
- Executing quality control methods,
- Researching, acquisition, organization, and analysis of large data sets,
- Developing new data architectures to generically and flexibly describe infrastructure systems,
- Collaborating with analysts on other modeling teams to relate inputs and outputs across models
- Executing scenarios, and analyzing and interpreting results for reporting,
- Presenting work at conferences,
- Writing and publishing results of analyses in peer-reviewed journals and technical reports,
- Assisting in the development of proposals for new work,
The EFG team consists of engineers, economists, physicists, and operations research experts. All are systems thinkers and life-long learners who strive to push the boundaries of innovation, integrated analysis, and tool development. You would join us in developing innovative modeling approaches, collaboratively applying them with a wide-range of research and industry partners to conduct high-impact analysis, and working to articulate current trends and chart future needs in integrated grid systems.
What we can offer:
- A collaborative, fast-paced, flexible, and fun work environment
- Endless opportunities to learn from experienced professionals in renewable and efficient energy systems, model development, and optimization,
- Contributing to research supporting a transition to a the clean, low-carbon energy future
- Fostering a life-long desire to understand, analyze, and plan the future electric power system