Decision support tools for wind and solar farm site selection in Isfahan Province, Iran

Barzehkar, Mojtaba, Parnell, Kevin E., Mobarghaee Dinan, Naghmeh, and Brodie, Graham (2021) Decision support tools for wind and solar farm site selection in Isfahan Province, Iran. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy. (In Press)

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Abstract

Optimizing the location of wind and photovoltaic solar power plants is a significant environmental management problem. The effectiveness of the site selection process for renewable energy systems (RES) could be strengthened by flexible spatial and environmental planning strategies using decision support systems (DSS) to critically identify the most productive, environmentally friendly and acceptable sites for the production of sustainable and reliable wind and solar energy. This study discusses hybrid DSS, using multi-criteria evaluation based on the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), a geographical information system (GIS), fuzzy logic, and a weighted linear combination (WLC) approach to determine optimal locations for renewable energy generation infrastructure. In the first stage, the most decisive factors for evaluating the site suitability were identified, based on experts' opinions. Next, raster layers of ecological and socioeconomic sub-criteria were prepared GIS software. After incorporating the raster maps of each parameter, fuzzy membership functions were applied to normalize each raster layer between 0 and 1. The relative weights of different indicators were calculated using super decision software. Prioritizing vital elements were performed using AHP. In the final stage, the WLC approach was utilized to amalgamate layers in the GIS environment, which afforded the final site suitability maps. In Isfahan Province, Iran, 26% of the land area was found to be highly suitable for solar farms with 18% being highly suitable for wind farms. The results illustrate that using and comparing the results from combinations of computer-based DSS are more likely to result in better decisions than using individual DSS tools for the determination of the most suitable sites for RES location.

Item ID: 66063
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1618-954X
Keywords: Solar energy, Wind energy, Renewable energy, Isfahan Province, Iran
Copyright Information: © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020, corrected publication 2020.
Funders: European Union (EU), Estonian Research Council (EstRC)
Projects and Grants: EU Regional Development Fund program Mobilitas Plus (reg.nr 2014-2020.4.01.16-002), EstRC IUT33-3
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2020 07:32
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410499 Environmental management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 17 ENERGY > 1705 Environmentally sustainable energy activities > 170599 Environmentally sustainable energy activities not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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