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A GIS-based Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) approach for the sustainable siting of renewable energy installations: the case study of the Regional Unit of Rethymno

Giamalaki Marina

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Year 2018
Type of Item Master Thesis
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As the effects of the climate change become more pronounced and the energy demand is increasing, the interest for renewable energy investments is growing globally. However, the exploitation of the renewable energy resources has to be implemented in a rational and sustainable way, taking into account both the maximization of the renewable energy potential, but also the social and environmental implications accruing. This study aims to develop a useful methodology for clarifying and prioritizing at a regional level, the most suitable locations for siting wind and solar farms, as well as biomass and biogas plants. By employing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), the sustainable siting areas for renewable energy installations siting are identified, applying a spatial multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) approach. The adopted methodology identifies the available siting areas for each Renewable Energy System (RES), based on exclusion criteria derived from the Specific Framework for the Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development for the Renewable Energy Sources (SFSPSD-RES) and related legislation. Furthermore, the available siting areas for each renewable energy technology are evaluated through a multicriteria analysis, based on evaluation criteria derived from the literature. Moreover, the sustainable locations for each renewable energy technology are derived, considering also the relative importance of the selected criteria, through the AHP implementation and the criteria pair-wise comparisons performed by involved energy-related groups.Therefore, the main result of this study is the development of a strategic planning methodology for the sustainable siting of RES, which was applied for the case study of the Regional Unit of Rethymno. The developed methodology employs different types of criteria, such as techno-economic and socio-environmental, it takes into account the distinct opinions of different stakeholders and it enables the evaluation of different scenarios.

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