Multicriteria assessment in GIS environments for siting biomass plants

Autores UPV
Revista Land Use Policy


This paper presents a complete multicriteria assessment process in GIS environments for the identification of sites suitable for building biomass plants. To achieve this aim, the principal criteria were defined (factors and constraints), evaluated and weighted in the context of Saaty's analytic hierarchies and divided into three groups: environmental, economic and social. The best alternatives were obtained after applying the two decision rules: weighted linear summation (WLS) and ideal point method (IPM). The final stage of the decision problem consisted of a sensitivity analysis of the set of factors and their associated weights using two global methods based on variance, the Soboĺ and the extended-FAST methods. The model was applied in an area of the European Mediterranean Region (Valencia, Spain) where agriculture and forest are representative land uses. The MCA-GIS analysis concluded that the most suitable areas for siting the biomass plant are located near residential zones, by allocating for this purpose only 23% of total area. The sensitivity analysis provided insight into the most influent factors on the model for aiding energy planning decisions, such as physiography, crop types, vegetation, potential demand and transport cost.