2012 Volume 91 Issue 5 Pages 391-404
The present work is intended to evaluate renewable energy resource potential with common criteria based on spatial data. It is necessary for the world to promote renewable energy use from the view point of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Evaluation of renewable energy potential is important in order to construct renewable energy facilities efficiently. The authors developed a new method for the renewable energy potential evaluation in large scale with the aid of Geographic Information System. This new method consists of three processes. The first process is simulation of the meteorological parameters such as river discharge and direct solar radiation. The second process is extraction of potential areas with restrictions according to climate conditions, geographical features and social environment. The third process is calculation of annual energy production on the condition that the extracted potential area is filled with renewable energy facilities as much as possible. The application of the new method to Kyushu area shows that Kyushu area has 35,728 GWh/year of wind power potential, 28,283 GWh/year of mini-micro hydropower potential, 2,404 GWh/year of solar power potential.