Research Area - Spatial planning of renewable energy


Under the Multi-criteria Analysis for Planning Renewable Energy (MapRE) initiative, we develop spatial analysis tools to enable researchers and planners to identify suitable wind and solar resources using multiple criteria across large regions for utility-scale renewable energy deployment. We have conducted studies across several regions including India and eastern and Southern Africa, and MapRE tools have been applied by collaborators to other regions including California, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and more. The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) of the World Bank in collaboration with our team is developing a web-based REZoning tool based on the MapRE methodology. 

We also use the outputs of the MapRE analysis to develop capacity factor time series for renewable energy zones or projects, which form the input to our electricity system models in GridPath. Incorporating the spatial and temporal variability of wind and solar resources is critical to represent in electricity systems models, especially when simulating future systems with high share of renewable energy generation. 


Optimal energy pathways for southern Africa