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Multi-criteria GIS analysis for siting of small wind power plants : a case study from Berlin

Drews, Laura LU (2012) In LUMA-GIS Thesis GISM01 20121
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
Scientific summary
One of the main issues to be solved for the 21st century is the energy generation from renewable sources. In particular, wind energy has a large potential and is one of the most advanced technologies currently available. However, in many cases wind energy is restricted to large wind parks with wind power plants often reaching heights greater than 100 m. In areas with high population density such as cities, where many obstacles like buildings are present, the construction of large wind power plants is often problematic. In such areas, small wind power plants are an alternative due to their lower starting wind speeds and higher flexibility in terms of logistics, costs and space-demand. Small wind power plants are wind... (More)
Scientific summary
One of the main issues to be solved for the 21st century is the energy generation from renewable sources. In particular, wind energy has a large potential and is one of the most advanced technologies currently available. However, in many cases wind energy is restricted to large wind parks with wind power plants often reaching heights greater than 100 m. In areas with high population density such as cities, where many obstacles like buildings are present, the construction of large wind power plants is often problematic. In such areas, small wind power plants are an alternative due to their lower starting wind speeds and higher flexibility in terms of logistics, costs and space-demand. Small wind power plants are wind power plants with an output power smaller than or equal to 100 kW and/or a rotor area less than 200 m².
Presently, small wind power plants are mainly used on roof tops of buildings in European cities, if at all. The capital of Germany, Berlin, can serve as a typical example of this issue as large wind power plants have been declared as unsuitable for the Berlin area. The present study attempts to contribute to small wind power site assessment in Berlin by performing a GIS-based overlay analysis for small wind power plants on free space and in addition on electric power poles, which can serve as supporting towers for small wind power plants. The focus of the GIS-based overlay analysis lies on a safety and performance point of view, including factors such as wind speed for three different power plant heights (10, 20 and 30 m), land use, distance to power line network, safety distance to buildings and wind shed/turbulences distance to buildings. The latter two depend on the regarded wind power plant height. Even though the overlay analysis technique and associated weight criteria (rank and ratio scale based weights) and decision rules (simple additive weighting) used in this study are chosen to be transparent and simple, they have been proven to be useful to investigate the influence of the included assessment factors on suitability.
As a result of the study, it is shown show that up to 9% of the total area of Berlin is suitable for small wind power plants with a height ≥ 20 m. Interestingly, the suitable areas are very scattered throughout the area of Berlin. Furthermore, up to 28% of Berlin's power poles are suitable to serve as constructional bases for small wind power plant rotors. This result is a pointer for other communities to utilise power poles and other pole type structures, such as telephone poles, antennas, etc for the erection of small wind power plant rotors. Finally, the results of this study emphasise the flexibility and potential of unconventional, decentralized wind power generation in cities such as Berlin, especially when compared to large wind power plant farm installations (Less)
Abstract
Popular summary
Energy generation from renewable sources is one of the main issues to be solved for the 21st century. One of the most advanced technologies currently available is wind energy, which has a large potential onshore and offshore. However, in many cases wind energy is restricted to large wind parks with wind power plants sometimes exceeding heights of 100 m. The construction of large wind power plants is often problematic in areas with high population density such as cities, where many obstacles like buildings are present. In contrast, the lower starting wind speeds and higher flexibility in terms of logistics, costs and space-demand make small wind power plants a true alternative in such highly populated areas. Per definition... (More)
Popular summary
Energy generation from renewable sources is one of the main issues to be solved for the 21st century. One of the most advanced technologies currently available is wind energy, which has a large potential onshore and offshore. However, in many cases wind energy is restricted to large wind parks with wind power plants sometimes exceeding heights of 100 m. The construction of large wind power plants is often problematic in areas with high population density such as cities, where many obstacles like buildings are present. In contrast, the lower starting wind speeds and higher flexibility in terms of logistics, costs and space-demand make small wind power plants a true alternative in such highly populated areas. Per definition small wind power plants are wind power plants with an output power smaller than or equal to 100 kW and/or a rotor area less than 200 m².
If at all, small wind power plants are mainly used on roof tops of buildings in European cities presently. A typical example of this issue is the capital of Germany, Berlin, as large wind power plants have been declared as unsuitable for its area. The present study attempts to contribute to small wind power site assessment in Berlin by utilisation of a geographical information system (GIS) incorporating spatial information about performance and safety, but also economic, social and ecological aspects. The different aspects were combined into suitability maps providing information about the quantity and locations of good spots for small wind power plants in Berlin. In addition, the potential of Berlin's electric power poles, which can serve as supporting towers for small wind power plants, was assessed.
As a result of the study, up to 9% of the total area of Berlin was rated as suitable for small wind power plants with a height ≥ 20 m. Thereby, the suitable areas are very scattered throughout the area of Berlin. Assuming a density of one micro wind power plant (power output ≤ 5 kW) per hectare the potential of small wind power plant energy production could be as much as 40 MW equalling to 4% of Berlin's energy supply needs. This number could be even increased, if more efficient wind power plants and installations on roof tops were considered. Moreover, up to 28% of Berlin's power poles are suitable to serve as constructional bases for small wind power plant rotors. This result is a pointer for other cities and communities to utilise power poles and other pole type structures, such as telephone poles, antennas, etc. for the installation of small wind power plant rotors. The results of this study underline the potential and flexibility of decentralized power generation from small wind power plants in cities such as Berlin; in particular when compared to large wind power plant farm installations. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Drews, Laura LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Potential for small wind power plant installations in Berlin
course
GISM01 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
geography, geographical information system, GIS, renewable energy, wind power, overlay analysis, Berlin
publication/series
LUMA-GIS Thesis
report number
17
language
English
id
3460296
date added to LUP
2013-02-15 14:31:20
date last changed
2013-02-15 14:31:20
@misc{3460296,
  abstract     = {Popular summary
Energy generation from renewable sources is one of the main issues to be solved for the 21st century. One of the most advanced technologies currently available is wind energy, which has a large potential onshore and offshore. However, in many cases wind energy is restricted to large wind parks with wind power plants sometimes exceeding heights of 100 m. The construction of large wind power plants is often problematic in areas with high population density such as cities, where many obstacles like buildings are present. In contrast, the lower starting wind speeds and higher flexibility in terms of logistics, costs and space-demand make small wind power plants a true alternative in such highly populated areas. Per definition small wind power plants are wind power plants with an output power smaller than or equal to 100 kW and/or a rotor area less than 200 m². 
If at all, small wind power plants are mainly used on roof tops of buildings in European cities presently. A typical example of this issue is the capital of Germany, Berlin, as large wind power plants have been declared as unsuitable for its area. The present study attempts to contribute to small wind power site assessment in Berlin by utilisation of a geographical information system (GIS) incorporating spatial information about performance and safety, but also economic, social and ecological aspects. The different aspects were combined into suitability maps providing information about the quantity and locations of good spots for small wind power plants in Berlin. In addition, the potential of Berlin's electric power poles, which can serve as supporting towers for small wind power plants, was assessed.
As a result of the study, up to 9% of the total area of Berlin was rated as suitable for small wind power plants with a height ≥ 20 m. Thereby, the suitable areas are very scattered throughout the area of Berlin. Assuming a density of one micro wind power plant (power output ≤ 5 kW) per hectare the potential of small wind power plant energy production could be as much as 40 MW equalling to 4% of Berlin's energy supply needs. This number could be even increased, if more efficient wind power plants and installations on roof tops were considered. Moreover, up to 28% of Berlin's power poles are suitable to serve as constructional bases for small wind power plant rotors. This result is a pointer for other cities and communities to utilise power poles and other pole type structures, such as telephone poles, antennas, etc. for the installation of small wind power plant rotors. The results of this study underline the potential and flexibility of decentralized power generation from small wind power plants in cities such as Berlin; in particular when compared to large wind power plant farm installations.},
  author       = {Drews, Laura},
  keyword      = {geography,geographical information system,GIS,renewable energy,wind power,overlay analysis,Berlin},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {LUMA-GIS Thesis},
  title        = {Multi-criteria GIS analysis for siting of small wind power plants : a case study from Berlin},
  year         = {2012},
}