Spatial multi-criteria decision analysis tool suite for consensus-based siting of renewable energy structures
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management. 2018, 1-28. 10.1142/S1464333218400033
Expansion of renewable energy development causes concerns which traditional land-use planning may have limited capacity to address adequately. The complexity and multiplicity of scales, criteria and actors involved in decision-making processes requires a holistic approach that captures the variety in stakeholder interests. Reaching consensus across interests ensures democratic and cost-effective decision-making processes. The Consensus-based Siting (ConSite) tool suite was developed for optimal siting of onshore wind-power plants and routing of high-voltage power lines considering stakeholder interests. ConSite is based on the operational steps of spatial multi-criteria decision analysis using a bottom-up holistic approach. Its spatially explicit graphical user interface allows for a high level of stakeholder involvement and includes inherent capabilities of scenario modelling. ConSite thereby helps to structure decision problems, balance conflicting interests and identify relevant decision strategies based on risk assessment and trade-off analysis. ConSite visualises the spatial consequences of implementing various decision strategies and balancing site-specific conflict levels with energy production potential.