Spatial planning for wind farms: perspectives of a coastal area in southern Brazil
Wind energy is considered one of the most promising clean technologies for power generation. For the sustainable development of this industry, it is essential that planning integrate spatial zoning with estimates of installed capacity and energy production. A Geographic Information System-based methodology was developed to propose planning for wind farms from a spatial perspective in the extreme south of Brazil. Through multi-criteria evaluation, the feasibility of the study area for this activity was analyzed according to suitability and constraint criteria. The assessment of suitability was based on wind energy exploitation, while the constraint analysis was based on the environmental legislation, social aspects and exclusion areas. In the suitability analysis, importance weights were assigned to the variables according to the unprecedented combination of the Delphi, linear and geometric Analytic Hierarchy Process methods. Constraint and suitability maps were established for the wind farms. The integration of both aspects allowed the generation of a spatial zoning map. Based on this zoning, installed capacity was calculated according to technical characteristics of a reference wind turbine. Finally, energy production of the suitable zones was estimated. The proposed spatial planning aims to contribute to the licensing processes in southern Brazil. Furthermore, the methodology developed can be replicated in other similar case studies.