Assessment of Renewable Energy Sources Using a Geographical Information System
The choice between different Renewable Energy Technologies to provide a given Energy Service, is based on the analysis of the best linkage between local Renewable Energy Sources, (RES) technical aspects of each Renewable Energy Technology, and the specific characteristic of the Energy Demand. Commonly, this analysis should prove that selected technical system is in compliance with current market choice, socio-economic and environmental concerns and in agreement with available legislation.
RES are determined by the capacity and respective value of the primary energy available and its spatial location. Technical assessment of the energy resources means evaluation of the potentiality for its use as energy source under competitive conditions. For distributed system the spatial location of Energy Demand is important to improve Renewable Energy Technologies capability to compete with centralized options. The spatial location of the Potential Energetic Demand requires the localisation of the potential consumers and the quantification of their need and expectation.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are useful tool for Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Demand assessment. GIS is currently used in Environmental and Resources Management as a Decision Support System and Simulation tool. Common sectors for GIS application are Water resources and Air Quality Management. Hydroelectric Energy as an aspect of water resources management was the first Renewable Energy to take advantage of GIS capabilities. Biomass energy can also be integrated in land use and Agricultural Resources Management. Some methods to assess Wind and Solar Resources have been developed and applied in different countries and recently, the availability of geological and hydrologic maps lead to the use of GIS in Geothermal Resources as well. This paper describes a methodology for Renewable Energy Assessment using GIS and its application to Cabo Verde Islands.
KeywordsGeographical information systems (GIS) renewable energy assessment island and remote regions
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