Determination of the Optimal Location for Constructing Solar Photovoltaic Farms Based on Multi-Criteria Decision System and Dempster–Shafer Theory

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Scientific Reports



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Considering environmental concerns regarding air pollution which is induced by burning fossil fuels to generate electrical power, utilizing solar energy as a green and sustainable energy source is of great interest. This study proposes a novel framework to determine the optimal location for constructing solar photovoltaic (PV) farms. To locate the suitable areas for PV farms, firstly, a fuzzy-based method is utilized to homogenize the input parameters, thereafter, the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and Dempster-Shafer (DS) methods are independently used. In the AHP method, the proper weight for each input parameter is generated utilizing a pairwise comparison matrix. However, the DS method identifies output in different confident levels. Finally, southeast of Fars province in Iran as a region with high sunny hours in the year is selected, and the applicability of proposed methods is examined. The results show that 32% of the case study is located at high and good suitability classes in the fuzzy_AHP method. However, it is 18.56%, 16.70%, 16.32% according to 95%, 99% and 99.5% confident levels in the fuzzy_DS method, respectively. Comparisons of the fuzzy_AHP and fuzzy_DS methods at 20 points with various solar radiation intensities and the number of dusty days parameters indicate that the fuzzy_DS method can more reliably determine the optimal PV farm locations. Additionally, as the fuzzy_DS method determines the optimal locations with different confident levels, this method can benefit decision-makers to determine the risks associated with selecting a specific site for constructing solar PV farms.


Environmental Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy



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