Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 186, Issue 10, pp 6695–6709 | Cite as

Land suitability assessment for wind power plant site selection using ANP-DEMATEL in a GIS environment: case study of Ardabil province, Iran

  • Ali Azizi
  • Bahram Malekmohammadi
  • Hamid Reza Jafari
  • Hossein Nasiri
  • Vahid Amini Parsa


Wind energy is a renewable energy resource that has increased in usage in most countries. Site selection for the establishment of large wind turbines, called wind farms, like any other engineering project, requires basic information and careful planning. This study assessed the possibility of establishing wind farms in Ardabil province in northwestern Iran by using a combination of analytic network process (ANP) and decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) methods in a geographical information system (GIS) environment. DEMATEL was used to determine the criteria relationships. The weights of the criteria were determined using ANP and the overlaying process was done on GIS. Using 13 information layers in three main criteria including environmental, technical and economical, the land suitability map was produced and reclassified into 5 equally scored divisions from least suitable to most suitable areas. The results showed that about 6.68 % of the area of Ardabil province is most suitable for establishment of wind turbines. Sensitivity analysis shows that significant portions of these most suitable zones coincide with suitable divisions of the input layers. The efficiency and accuracy of the hybrid model (ANP-DEMATEL) was evaluated and the results were compared to the ANP model. The sensitivity analysis, map classification, and factor weights for the two methods showed satisfactory results for the ANP-DEMATEL model in wind power plant site selection.


Wind power plants (WPPs) Geographical information system (GIS) Site selection ANP-DEMATEL Iran–Ardabil province 



The authors would like to thank the two reviewers for their constructive comments on correction and improvement of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Azizi
    • 1
  • Bahram Malekmohammadi
    • 1
  • Hamid Reza Jafari
    • 1
  • Hossein Nasiri
    • 2
  • Vahid Amini Parsa
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Faculty of EnvironmentUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.Faculty of GeographyUniversity of TehranTehranIran

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