A new application can be used to track and compare costs associated with installing green energy technologies, including how long it would take to see a return on the investment.
The Transparent Cost Database web app was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The database collects cost and performance estimates for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in a public forum, which can be accessed by policy makers, consumers and utility companies, NREL reported.
"In keeping with the Obama Administration's commitment to open and transparent data, the TCDB provides cost comparisons to make it much easier to view the range of estimates for what energy technologies such as a utility-scale wind farm, rooftop solar installation, biofuel production plant or electric vehicle might costs today or in the future," the NREL said in a statement.
NREL analyst Austin Brown said the information included in the new web app was always public, but the new database makes it more easily accessible. Experts will soon be able to contribute information to the database, which will add to the reliability of the cost information available to the public.