Research Economist
Research Economist


At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Sarah Barrows leads several research efforts on energy and water systems valuation, including projects on distributed wind adoption and on non-powered dam conversion. She also leads internal research efforts to investigate the greenhouse gas impacts of agriculture and food systems, including the economic aspects of adopting sustainable agricultural practices. She also has experience in life-cycle cost analysis, econometrics, policy analysis, and regional economic impact analysis.

Barrows holds a master’s degree in applied economics with an agricultural economics emphasis. Her graduate thesis focused primarily on policy analysis, using various econometric tools to investigate the household effects of welfare policies. Her undergraduate degree, prior publications, and previous work experience are in food science, a field which applies chemistry and engineering processes to food production. She is passionate about exploring the connections between interrelated systems, such as those between energy and water, so that improved solutions can be found to address energy needs. 

Research Interest

  • Policy analysis
  • Household-level decision making
  • Issues related to the energy-water-food nexus

Disciplines and Skills

  • Life-cycle cost analysis
  • Econometric modeling
  • Regional economic impact analysis


  • MS in applied economics, University of Idaho, 2019
  • BS in food science, with minor in chemistry and mathematics, Brigham Young University, 2014

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • United States Associate for Energy Economics

Awards and Recognitions

  • Outstanding Performance Award for contributions to the life-cycle cost analysis of efficiency standards, Energy and Environment Directorate, PNNL, 2020



  • Culler M.J., S.E. Barrows, K. Mongird, S. Bukowski, and J. Gentle. 2022. "Case Study: Resilience Benefits of Distributed Wind Against Fuel and Weather Hazards in Alaska." In IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM 2022), July 17-21, 2022, Denver, CO, 1-5. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-168217. doi:10.1109/PESGM48719.2022.9917084
  • Kazimierczuk K., K. Mongird, and S.E. Barrows. 2022. "Stronger together: the value impacts of hybridizing distributed wind." The Electricity Journal 35, no. 8:Art. No. 107191. PNNL-SA-175418. doi:10.1016/j.tej.2022.107191
  • Twitchell J.B., D. Bhatnagar, S.E. Barrows, and K. Mongird. 2022. Enabling Principles for Dual Participation by Energy Storage as a Transmission and Market Asset. PNNL-32196. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


  • Barrows S.E., J.S. Homer, and A.C. Orrell. 2021. "Valuing Wind as a Distributed Energy Resource: A Literature Review." Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews 152. PNNL-SA-166330. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2021.111678
  • Barrows S.E., K. Mongird, B. Naughton, and R. Darbali-Zamora. 2021. "Valuation of Distributed Wind in an Isolated System." Energies 14, no. 21:Article No. 6956. PNNL-SA-166260. doi:10.3390/en14216956
  • Mongird K., and S.E. Barrows. 2021. The Value of Distributed Wind: A Valuation Framework. PNNL-31127. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.