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An assessment of the regional potential for solar power generation in EU-28


  • Perpiña Castillo, Carolina
  • Batista e Silva, Filipe
  • Lavalle, Carlo


In this study we aim at assessing the potential of European regions to solar power generation and its comparison with recent European Union (EU) incentives for the development of this renewable energy source. In this study we use a multi-criteria assessment (MCA) supported by Geographical Information System (GIS) to combine already existing information on solar radiation with other geographical factors such as slope, land use, urban extent and population distribution, as well as proximity to the power grid to generate a suitability map for photovoltaic (PV) power plants across the EU at high spatial resolution. A validation exercise showed that the resulting suitability map is a good predictor of appropriate locations for the deployment of PV power plants. The suitability map was in addition 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 potential mismatches between fund allocations and actual regional suitability for solar energy. It is recommended that future fund allocations take into account suitability criteria for solar energy for optimised results of public policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Perpiña Castillo, Carolina & Batista e Silva, Filipe & Lavalle, Carlo, 2016. "An assessment of the regional potential for solar power generation in EU-28," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 86-99.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:88:y:2016:i:c:p:86-99
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.10.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ehsan Noorollahi & Dawud Fadai & Mohsen Akbarpour Shirazi & Seyed Hassan Ghodsipour, 2016. "Land Suitability Analysis for Solar Farms Exploitation Using GIS and Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP)—A Case Study of Iran," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-24, August.
    2. repec:eee:renene:v:113:y:2017:i:c:p:159-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jeners:v:12:y:2019:i:13:p:2533-:d:244724 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:renene:v:130:y:2019:i:c:p:558-573 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Carfora, Alfonso & Romano, Antonio A. & Ronghi, Monica & Scandurra, Giuseppe, 2017. "Renewable generation across Italian regions: Spillover effects and effectiveness of European Regional Fund," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 132-141.
    6. repec:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:191-198 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:renene:v:133:y:2019:i:c:p:1136-1146 is not listed on IDEAS
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    10. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:7:p:1648-:d:154287 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Abeer Pervaiz & Christian Lechner, 2019. "Understanding the emergence of an industry through the lens of Social Movements and Entrepreneurial Communities," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS58, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    12. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:10:p:3777-:d:176790 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:renene:v:122:y:2018:i:c:p:497-506 is not listed on IDEAS
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    16. Baran Doda, Sam Fankhauser, 2017. "Energy policy and the power sector in the long run," GRI Working Papers 276, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    17. repec:eee:rensus:v:109:y:2019:i:c:p:294-306 is not listed on IDEAS
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    19. repec:eee:renene:v:123:y:2018:i:c:p:793-805 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Teresa Grijó & Isabel Soares, 2016. "Solar photovoltaic investments and economic growth in EU: Are we able to evaluate the nexus?," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 1415-1432, October.
    21. repec:eee:appene:v:235:y:2019:i:c:p:1457-1467 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p2:p:3061-3069 is not listed on IDEAS
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    24. repec:eee:rensus:v:90:y:2018:i:c:p:516-535 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. repec:eee:resene:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:218-232 is not listed on IDEAS


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