Developing a GIS-Based Decision Support Tool For Evaluating Potential Wind Farm Sites
Xu, X. M. (2007). Developing a GIS-Based Decision Support Tool For Evaluating Potential Wind Farm Sites (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2348
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2348
In recent years, the popularity of wind energy has grown. It is starting to play a large role in generating renewable, clean energy around the world. In New Zealand, there is increasing recognition and awareness of global warming and the pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, as well as the increased difficulty of obtaining oil from foreign sources, and the fluctuating price of non-renewable energy products. This makes wind energy a very attractive alternative to keep New Zealand clean and green. There are many issues involved in wind farm development. These issues can be grouped into two categories - economic issues and environmental issues. Wind farm developers often use site selection process to minimise the impact of these issues. This thesis aims to develop GIS based models that provide effective decision support tool for evaluating, at a regional scale, potential wind farm locations. This thesis firstly identifies common issues involved in wind farm development. Then, by reviewing previous research on wind farm site selection, methods and models used by academic and corporate sector to solve issues are listed. Criteria for an effective decision support tool are also discussed. In this case, an effective decision support tool needs to be flexible, easy to implement and easy to use. More specifically, an effective decision support tool needs to provide users the ability to identify areas that are suitable for wind farm development based on different criteria. Having established the structure and criteria for a wind farm analysis model, a GIS based tool was implemented using AML code using a Boolean logic model approach. This method uses binary maps for the final analysis. There are a total of 3645 output maps produced based on different combination of criteria. These maps can be used to conduct sensitivity analysis. This research concludes that an effective GIS analysis tool can be developed for provide effective decision support for evaluating wind farm sites.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses