Energy Economist & Modeler

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Job Location : Golden, CO, USA

Posted on : Thu, 25 Jul 2019 20:10:23 GMT

Job Description :

Posting Title

Energy Economist & Modeler



CO - Golden


Position Type



Hours Per Week



Job Description

NREL conducts world-class research in energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, renewable energy technologies, and energy systems integration and optimization. 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 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).

The successful candidate will work in Golden with an interdisciplinary team of experienced NREL researchers to develop a computational agent-based model to study stakeholder outcomes under a variety of economic and regulatory structures (e.g., wholesale markets, retail rates, vertically integrated utilities, incented adoption programs) operating in different technological futures and subject to realistic human behavior. The team will formulate and study two distinct use cases: one focused on the roles of distributed energy resources (DERs), and the other examining the impacts of large corporations or small cities meeting their own renewable energy goals through power purchase agreements (PPAs). Expected outcomes include the development and documentation of a new capability, an analysis of stakeholder outcome sensitivity to economic structures, and the demonstration of an ability to optimize economic structures subject to societal and stakeholder perspectives.

To these ends, we seek an exceptionally curious numerical modeler with significant object-oriented programming experience, conversant with a variety of optimization techniques, and interested in connecting data and models across siloed disciplinary boundaries. An economic modeler with experience formulating and solving mathematical programs with equilibrium constraints (MPECs), and/or expressing the more human aspects of human economic behavior, and/or describing price formation and regulatory structures would be an especially strong candidate.

Organizationally, this position resides in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC). SEAC and NREL are committed to fostering a creative, curiosity-driven, inclusive workplace, and to supporting and mentoring research staff as they progress from task execution to principal investigator and beyond.


Basic Qualifications PhD in Economics, Mathematics, Engineering or related. Or, Master's Degree in Economics, Mathematics, Engineering or related.and 3 or more years of experience . Or, Bachelor's Degree in Economics, Mathematics, Engineering or related.and 5 or more years of experience .


Additional Qualifications

Research interests: electrification, distributed energy resources, and the institutional rules that will orchestrate them. Interested in collaboratively developing scientific computational models and workflows that bridge disciplines and are built to last for 10+ years. Curious about future energy systems, including renewable energy, electrifification.

Demonstrated full knowledge of laws, regulations, principles, procedures and practices related to specific field. Excellence working in a team environment. Motivated to investigate and solve future power grid challenges. Exceptional oral and written communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

Required Experience/Qualifications:

  • Experience with computational modeling or analysis of complex economic or engineering systems
  • Coursework and associated projects in optimization (e.g., linear programming, nonlinear programming, equilibrium modeling)
  • Introductory coursework in differential equations, statistics, and microeconomics
  • Computer programming:
    • Object-oriented programming – explicit coursework or experience
    • Proficiency in at least one object-oriented language, e.g., Python, C++ or Java
  • Research interests:
    • Curious about future energy systems, including renewable energy, electrification, distributed energy resources, and the institutional rules that will orchestrate them
    • Interested in collaboratively developing scientific computational models and workflows that bridge disciplines and are built to last for 10+ years

Preferred Experience/Qualifications:

  • Economics/engineering/mathematics
    • M.S./PhD in economics, applied mathematics, engineering, or social science with a focus on modeling and analysis of complex economic, engineering, or behavioral systems
    • Economic, public policy, or other social science research experience that is complementary to the wider project team
  • Computer programming
    • Experience with relational databases and writing SQL queries
    • Proficiency in multiple programming languages
    • Experience with version control systems (e.g., git, svn, or bitbucket)


Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


EEO Policy

NREL is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity. NREL promotes a work environment that does not discriminate against workers or job applicants and prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, ancestry, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status, including special disabled veterans.

NREL validates right to work using E-Verify. NREL will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each new employee’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.

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