GIS for Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is becoming more and more fundamental for the supply of the increasing global energy demand, also in conjunction with the decision to abandon nuclear energy in some countries. Nevertheless, the growing diffusion of distributed generation of renewable energy (RE) power plants poses some issues concerning the estimate of its contribution to the domestic demand and the impact on the local communities. Moreover, the integration of renewable energy into the existing power grid, implies the identification of strategies aimed at identifying new routes that minimize visual and environmental impact, cost and to smooth the growing social opposition with respect to new infrastructures. Addressing all these aspects requires interdisciplinary planning and adequate policies for a sustainable and balanced integration.
GIS (Geographic Information System) software involves the use of some combination of digital maps and georeferenced data that describe different features of a given area at different scales. It is used for diverse applications: from urban to infrastructure planning, social and economic analysis, and recently also for RE integration in a given area both for large scale and small scale analyses. See also: Special Issue "GIS for Renewable Energy"
Current projects at IKG aim at developing a GIS-based algorithm in the field of biomass, solar and wind energy focusing on:
- the technical and economical exploitable potential power generation using wind, biomass and solar technology of all Switzerland taking into account the frameworks of the actual regulatory and economic boundary conditions.
- the planning of transmission lines in complex environment including visibility and investment costs.
- the optimal placement of biomass power plants aimed at reducing fluctuations of the power grid.