Selection of Potential Sites for Solar Energy Farms in Ismailia Governorate, Egypt using SRTM and Multicriteria Analysis

Hala Adel Effat


Egypt is known to be one of the most optimal locations in the world for solar energy production. Solar energy can provide a great opportunity for sustainable development and population redistribution in its vast deserts. Ismailia Governorate encompasses the Suez Canal which in turn possesses high development potentiality. The objective of this paper is to identify optimum sites for constructing solar energy plants in Ismailia Governorate. To achieve this objective, two interrelated steps have been applied in this research. First, remote sensing including satellite data from SPOT-4 was used to derive land use/land cover map of the study area. Also, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) were used to model the aspect angles map and to model the global solar radiation map for the study area. The global insolation (direct and diffuse radiation, WH/m2) shows where the highest amounts of solar radiation are. Second, a Spatial Multicriteria Evaluation (SMCE) model was designed. Various criteria were used in this study, including meteorological (global insolation); terrestrial (the aspect); economic (distance from power lines, main roads and populated area). The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used for calculation of the criteria weights. A weighted overlay was used to produce a suitability index map for solar energy power. Few sites were selected based on high suitability index values and area of a site. The methodology proves to be promising for creating zoning maps for developing solar energy infrastructures in the region.


Egypt, Ismailia, Solar Radiation, Spatial Multicriteria Evaluation, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, Site Selection

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