About NREL's Finance Analysis Team

Welcome to NREL's RE Finance Analysis website! NREL's Project Finance team conducts research, performs analysis, and produces content aimed to inform decision makers in the renewable energy field. We cover topics ranging from:

Renewable energy project financing is complex.

Successful financing for new facilities requires knowledge of federal tax credits, state-level incentives, renewable attribute markets, renewable technology installation and operation costs and many other site-specific considerations. In addition, the financing structures available vary widely depending on who you are (federal agency, state and local government, investor-owned or municipal utility, commercial, business, or homeowner) and may differ depending on the size of the system (distributed vs. a mid-size system that feeds directly into the grid ("wholesale DG"), vs. utility-scale). The website compiles a library of information, reports, and analysis tools on many of these issues. The Finance Analysis Team produces original, objective, credible analysis about renewable energy project financing to explore market and state-level incentives, project financing structures, and other important and timely issues.

  • project-level finance (terms, structures, and innovations);
  • renewable energy policy at the national, state and municipal level;
  • state-of-the-market for most commercial and some emerging renewable technologies; and
  • high renewable penetration scenarios.

Our audience includes: potential and existing investors in renewable energy generation projects; utilities and their regulators; policymakers; and DOE program managers. Renewable energy project finance is a very dynamic field, and as such we strive to provide up-to-date reporting and analysis that tracks market and political developments. Our team members bring a diversity of backgrounds and experience, which uniquely qualifies us for this mission.

Team Bios

Karlynn Cory – Ms. Cory has 15 years of experience analyzing renewable energy policies and U.S. electricity markets. She has an in-depth understanding of investor requirements to get renewable energy projects financed, as well as experience identifying best practices for policies that can be used to encourage increased capital for renewables. Ms. Cory also has extensively evaluated renewable energy certificate (REC) markets for renewable portfolio standards and voluntary green power markets, and more recently, has examined feed-in tariff policies in the U.S. and Europe in detail. She has a M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.

Michael Mendelsohn – Michael has over 20 years of experience in the energy industry, most notably as an economist with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and as an Executive Consultant with Levitan and Associates based in Boston. Michael joined the finance team at NREL in 2009. His principal expertise is in renewable energy project finance, public capital markets, federal and state incentive programs, utility-scale solar, and electric vehicles. Michael holds an M.S.in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.A. in Computer Science from Ithaca College, and a Certificate in Finance from Suffolk University.

Paul Schwabe – Paul has over 10 years of experience in the energy industry, including electricity market analysis, natural gas forecasting, and financial modeling. His principal foci at NREL are on wind and geothermal technologies. Paul holds an M.S. in Applied Economics and Finance, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Bethany Speer – Bethany splits her time at NREL between domestic and international renewable energy finance and policy research. She has analysis experience in insurance and risk mitigation, market analysis, international developmental, and third party legal and regulatory issues. In addition to her work for NREL, Bethany is also an accomplished cellist and holds a degree in music from the University of Denver. She also holds an M.A. in Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration, and a B.A. in International Studies, both from the University of Denver as well.

David Feldman – David comes to the Project Finance team direct from the solar industry, where he worked for three years as a Director of Finance. His work for NREL centers on quantitative and qualitative solar market analysis, as well as finance and policy research. David has also helped the lab plan and execute a number of presentations and events related to his research. He holds an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management and a B.A. from Amherst College.

Travis Lowder – Travis is an Energy Analyst with the NREL Project Finance Team. His research encompasses the U.S. renewable energy project finance market and financial policy, PV project risk management, PV asset and cash flow securitization, and the energy/development nexus. Travis holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado, and an M.A. in International Development from the University of Denver.

Jared Wiedmeyer - Jared is a Research Program Participant with the NREL Project Finance Team. His work at NREL includes studies in geothermal permitting and its effects on levelized cost of energy, community solar finance, and capital markets-based risk management strategies for PV projects. Jared holds a B.S. in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA in Finance from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder.