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Title: Exploring the decision-space for renewable energy generation to enhance spatial efficiency

Decentralized power generation can play a significant role in contributing to renewable energy (RE) supply. Accordingly, regions can be important players in the transformation of the energy system. However, only scarce spatial capacities are available for a sustainable RE generation. Knowledge gaps exist concerning data and methods for integrating RE assessment and environmental planning methods. This paper presents a methodology for the integrated assessment of different RE potentials and their land requirements. The potential is contrasted with the actual availability of land for RE-generation considering environmental restrictions. An application in the Hanover region demonstrates that using energy capacity maps supports using the most efficient mixture in RE generation. Generally, a combination of wind and solar energies produces the highest energy yield per ha. Furthermore, relying primarily on generalized environmental restrictions for defining exclusion areas can be only a first step: On the one hand the assessment is probably underrating the potential for environmentally sound RE generation due to the undifferentiated exclusion of large areas of a certain protective status. On the other hand, some energy sources, in particular energy crops for bioenergy generation, are malpositioned due to missing spatially explicit information about ecosystem sensitivities and a lack of regulative possibilities.more » Further research is needed to explore synergistic combinations of energy potentials and their environmentally sound spatial allocation in more detail. - Highlights: • We combine models of RE potentials with technical and environmental restrictions. • We explore the resulting “decision-spaces” for regional RE development. • “Decision-spaces” are small and need to be developed carefully to avoid trade-offs. • Planning needs more differentiated analyses to test RE allocation-scenarios. • We recommend detailed analyses on (cumulative) impacts of (multifunctional) RE use.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22479731
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 52; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ECOSYSTEMS; ENERGY CROPS; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; ENERGY SYSTEMS; ENERGY YIELD; LAND REQUIREMENTS; POWER GENERATION; SOLAR ENERGY