RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Software

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RETScreen is a decision-support tool designed to help decision makers and energy professionals evaluate the financial viability of renewable energy, energy efficiency and cogeneration projects around the world.



RETScreen is a decision-support tool designed to help decision makers and energy professionals evaluate the financial viability of renewable energy, energy efficiency and cogeneration projects around the world. RETScreen models both new and conventional technologies, allowing for comparisons between technology options. The software can be used to evaluate benefits from both clean energy production from power generation projects and savings through energy efficiency projects, accounting for project costs, emission reductions, and financial risk. The software is distributed for free, and requires Microsoft Excel to run. It is developed and maintained by the Government of Canada through the Natural Resources Canada's CanmetEnergy research center in collaboration with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) [1]

RETScreen offers the Biomass Heating Model which can be used to evaluate biomass heating projects. The website also provides training materials, textbooks and case studies for biomass heating at  "RETScreen International Biomass system".[3]

International Applications

RETScreen provides access to a global climate database based on ground measurement and NASA satellite data, allowing analysis of projects around the world. The software is available in 35 languages and includes equipment databases for components manufactured and available worldwide. Training resources for self-study, use in training courses or for university courses include webcasts, presentation slides, and instructor notes, case studies, user manual and other materials. [1]

Inputs and Outputs

The user first inputs general information about the project (such as project type, facility type, analysis type) as well as site reference conditions regarding climate in the Start worksheet. This worksheet is also used to select standard settings that will be used to perform the analysis (such as language, currency and units).[4]

The Energy Model worksheet is used to evaluate the proposed case system.[5]

The Load & Network Design worksheet is used to estimate the heating, cooling and/or power loads for the base case and proposed case systems. Inputs for this worksheet include: heated floor area per building cluster, number of buildings in building cluster, fuel type, seasonal efficiency, heating load for building cluster, domestic hot water heating base demand, and fuel rate. This worksheet can also be used to prepare a preliminary design and cost estimate for the district heating and/or cooling networks.[6]

The Cost Analysis worksheet is used to estimate costs and credits of a proposed case. The costs are presented in both initial and recurring standpoints.[7]

The Emissions Reduction Analysis worksheet is used to estimate greenhouse gas emissions of a proposed project. It has five main sections: in Settings, the user specifies the type of analysis performed, and provides global warming potential factors; in Base Case Electricity System (Baseline) and Base case system GHG summary (Baseline) a description of the GHG baseline for an existing system is provided; Proposed case system GHG summary (Project) provides the user with an emissions profile of the proposed project; and GHG emissions reduction summary summarizes all the results listed above. The outputs of the worksheet are presented in equivalent tons of Carbon Dioxide avoided per year.[8]

The Financial Analysis worksheet contains six sections that provide information on the flow of revenue from the project. The sections included are: Financial parameters, Annual income, Project costs and savings/income summary, Financial viability, Yearly cash flows, and Cumulative cash flows graph.[9]

The Sensitivity and Risk Analysis worksheet helps the user determine which parameters of a proposed system have the greatest risk and sensitivity toward implementation. The Risk Analysis section is intended for users with a knowledge of statistics.[10]

The Tools worksheet helps a user calculate other information pertaining to the proposed renewable energy project.[11] It can accommodate several different modules:

The Product Data database provides the user with a database of existing renewable energy products to include in the analysis.[12]

The Climate Data database provides meteorological data required in the model. It has two options from either ground based measuring stations or NASA's global satellite analysis.[13]

The Hydrology Data database provides hydrological data for Canada.[14]

The Project Data screen provides the user with built in case studies and examples.[15]

The Energy Resource Maps provides the user with data sets from around the world integrated into the RETScreen software.[16]


There are also training materials, textbooks and case studies provided on the RETScreen webpage.[1][2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3  "RETScreen Homepage"
  2. 2.0 2.1  "RETScreen"
  3. 3.0 3.1  "RETScreen Biomass System"
  4.  ""Start""
  5.  ""Energy Model""
  6.  ""Load and Network Design""
  7.  ""Cost Analysis""
  8.  ""Emissions Reduction Analysis""
  9.  ""Financial Analysis""
  10.  ""Sensitivity and Risk Analysis""
  11.  ""Tools""
  12.  ""Product Data""
  13.  ""Climate Data""
  14.  ""Hydrology Data""
  15.  ""Project Data""
  16.  ""Energy Resource Maps""