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September 21, 2007 / or4green

Paper on MCDM and Sustainable Energy Planning

Application of multi-criteria decision making to sustainable energy planning—A review
S. D. Pohekar and M. Ramachandran
in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume 8, Issue 4, August 2004, Pages 365-381
Author Keywords: Multi-objective optimization; Multi-criteria decision making; Decision support systems; Sustainable energy planning
Notes: The applicability of multi-criteria methods to sustainability is a logical consequence of the struggle between economic and environmental priorities. The authors of this paper discuss this briefly before reviewing MCDM (and multi-objective optimization) methodology and its usage in energy planning including renewables. Some of the MCDM approaches described are the weighted sum method, AHP, PROMETHEE, and ELECTRE. Numerous references on the application of MCDM to the following six areas are detailed:
1 – renewable energy planning (given existing renewable energy options)
2 – energy resource allocation
3 – building energy management
4 – transportation energy management
5 – planning for energy projects (renewable ones – site selection, technology selection, …)
6 – electric utility planning
The authors’ literature survey indicates that multi-objective optimization is the most commonly used technique in these areas followed by the AHP. Renewable energy planning dominates the application areas. A pre- and post-1990 split of the references shows that MCDM has gained ground on multi-objective from the first period to the second. In all the paper contains little analysis, serving primarily as a classification of references using MCDM methodology on sustainability areas. The long list of references makes it clear that while some of this work can be found in OR journals (mainly EJOR, cf. refs [31], [32], and [38]), most of it is showing up in energy and environmental journals.

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