Title: An assessment of the regional potential for solar power generation in EU-28
Citation: ENERGY POLICY vol. 88 p. 86-99
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC96579
ISSN: 0301-4215
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421515301324
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.10.004
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In this study we aim at assessing the potential of European regions to solar power generation. In the proposed approach, we combine already existing information on the solar radiation with other geographical constraints. Such location characteristics relate to slope, land use, urban extent and population distribution, as well as proximity to the power grid, among other factors. The methodology is thereof based on a multi-criteria assessment (MCA) supported by Geographical Information System (GIS). The main outcome of the analysis is a suitability map for solar energy power plants across the European Union (EU) at high spatial resolution. The suitability map was compared to the regional distribution of European funds for development of solar energy from the EU Cohesion policy (2007-2013 programme). Regions were classified according their overall suitability for solar energy power systems and the allocated solar investments by the EU Cohesion policy. This analysis allowed to identify regions for which, despite the great potential for solar energy, the EU investment in this energy source has been minor. The suitability map was validated and it demonstrated that the presented suitability map is able to inform on suitable locations for photovoltaic power generation with a satisfactory degree of accuracy.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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