A Tool for Assessment of
Renewable Energy and
Energy Efficiency Projects
What is ProForm?
ProForm is a software tool designed to support a basic assessment of the environmental and financial
impacts of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Given the necessary data, ProForm
calculates basic financial indicators and avoided emissions of CO2 and local air
pollutants expected from a project.
As a spreadsheet-based tool, ProForm is designed to be simple enough to be easily usable, yet
sophisticated enough to provide credible results. A typical application of ProForm would be in
preparation of a project proposal that the developers might submit to potential investors,
financiers, or a national climate change office. ProForm allows project developers, financial
institutions, and other parties to investigate how changes in basic assumptions affect the key
parameters of a project.
Types of Applications
ProForm can be used for renewable energy projects that involve either electricity generation or non-electric energy production, as well as for energy efficiency projects that save electricity and/or fossil fuels. ProForm can also assess fuel-switching projects, cogeneration projects, and landfill methane gas capture projects.
Within the above categories, ProForm allows for assessment of:
- Displacement of fossil fuel combustion associated with electricity production, and/or
- Displacement of fossil fuel combustion at the end-use level.
ProForm can be used for a project that involves a single installation, such as an energy efficiency
improvement at a factory or an installation of a wind turbine, or for one that involves installation
over time of multiple units of a technology, such as a residential lighting efficiency program.
Basic Assessments by ProForm
- Environmental assessment ProForm calculates emissions of CO2 and several
local air pollutants that may be avoided as a result of a project. It allows the user to construct a
baseline that can reflect changes in emissions impacts expected over the lifetime of the project.
- Financial assessment The financial assessment in ProForm is from the perspective of
the sponsor of the project. A basic assessment considers a locally-owned project that sells carbon
credits, while an advanced assessment can consider a project that has a foreign equity investor.
ProForm requires basic performance and cost data for the technology to be installed, the number of
units expected to be installed in each year, and data on the baseline technology that will be
displaced as a result of the project. For projects that will displace grid electricity, the user can
estimate the extent to which various types of electricity generation will be affected. In addition to
technology cost data, the financial assessment requires data on costs of any fuel inputs for the
project, and of fuel use or electricity generation that will be avoided. ProForm is able to
accommodate data on carbon credits, grants, or tax credits that may be associated with a project.
Output from ProForm
The main financial results are the projects IRR and NPV with and without revenue from carbon
credits. By modifying assumptions regarding the value of carbon credits, the user can assess what the
financial impact of these credits would be under varying future scenarios.
Download ProForm V4.0 (released Nov. 2004), the ProForm users manual and other related documents
(This is an update from version 3.2, which was released 03/17/03)