Location optimization of solar plants by an integrated hierarchical DEA PCA approach
Unique features of renewable energies such as solar energy has caused increasing demands for such resources. In order to use solar energy as a natural resource, environmental circumstances and geographical location related to solar intensity must be considered. Different factors may affect on the selection of a suitable location for solar plants. These factors must be considered concurrently for optimum location identification of solar plants. This article presents an integrated hierarchical approach for location of solar plants by data envelopment analysis (DEA), principal component analysis (PCA) and numerical taxonomy (NT). Furthermore, an integrated hierarchical DEA approach incorporating the most relevant parameters of solar plants is introduced. Moreover, 2 multivariable methods namely, PCA and NT are used to validate the results of DEA model. The prescribed approach is tested for 25 different cities in Iran with 6 different regions within each city. This is the first study that considers an integrated hierarchical DEA approach for geographical location optimization of solar plants. Implementation of the proposed approach would enable the energy policy makers to select the best-possible location for construction of a solar power plant with lowest possible costs.
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