RETScreen is a free-of-charge piece of decision support software made available by the Government of Canada to help evaluate the viability of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. It analyses the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for projects associated with various types of renewable-energy and energy-efficient technologies (RETs). As of March 2015, the software had over 435,000 users in 222 countries and territories.
In previous Programme cycles, REEEP supported the translation of the RETScreen software into multiple languages, the addition of a Clean Energy Legal Toolkit, and the integration of a Monitoring, Targeting, and Verification (MTV) Tool into the software.
This project aimed to develop two new components for RETScreen: a Benchmark Analysis Tool to allow for comparisons of the energy performance of different facilities and energy applications by country, and a Clean Energy Policy Toolkit to aid policy analysis and training. The project also aimed to promote and diffuse the new components.
The project was successful, and the new features were widely promoted among the hundreds of thousands of people in the network the RETScreen team provided access to. In the roughly two years between the launch of the new extensions and the end of October 2014, counting both new users downloading the RETScreen software and existing users re-installing the software to benefit from the new features, it is estimated that 150,000 people gained access to the Benchmark Analysis Tool and the Clean Energy Policy Toolkit.
The Benchmark Analysis Tool has become an integral part of project analysis for energy efficiency projects and has directly contributed to better quality feasibility analyses beyond Canada, although specifics are difficult to quantify.
The Policy Toolkit was officially presented at a number of meetings and during webinars, to organisations such as the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation and its Clean Energy Practice Group. It was also highlighted during the RETScreen workshops sponsored by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) in 15 West-African countries. The toolkit was used by the Ukrainian government for policy support, and also presented to the Namibian government, which responded positively and expressed an interest in using it. It has been incorporated in teaching at universities such as the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela and the Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan.
Both the Benchmark Analysis Tool and the Policy Toolkit are constantly evolving tools, and have been updated regularly since the end of the project with REEEP.