Spatial analysis of renewable energy potential in the greater southern Appalachian mountains

Publication year: 2011
Source: Renewable Energy, Volume 36, Issue 11, November 2011, Pages 2785-2798

Andrew N., Arnette , Christopher W., Zobel

This research discusses the implementation of a geographic information system (GIS) for the simultaneous discovery of multiple types of renewable energy sources. In particular, the GIS model analyzes wind, solar, and biomass potential within the greater southern Appalachian region, an area which is currently very heavily dependent on coal for electricity generation. The location and availability of biomass is specifically considered in the context of potential co-fire generation within existing coal plants, while the availability of wind and solar power are based on both resource strength and the geographic, topographic, and regulatory constraints that provide limits on their use. The…

 Highlights: ► We discuss a geographic information system for analyzing renewable energy potential. ► The system is focused on solar, wind, and biomass resources, at the regional level. ► The chosen region for application is the greater southern Appalachian mountains. ► Potential sites for each type of resource are identified, given regional constraints. ► Costs and potential impacts on regional electricity generation are discussed.