Quantifying Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Potential with Socio-Economic Factors: A Case Study for Kingston, Canada
This half thesis describes a proposed research project to explore how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to find possible correlations between the physical requirements for rooftop solar photovoltaic (RSPV) technology and socio-economic data, to enhance a city-wide strategy for renewable energy implementation. The advantage of RSPV is the ability to be decentralized and distributed on existing infrastructure within the built environment, especially in circumstances where landuse policies may prohibit additional land development. While the cost of RSPV has been decreasing over the past two decades, there are still logistical, financial, and social challenges to city-wide implementation. Recent studies have found that both the physical requirements for RSPV and the socio-economic potential of a city are strongly influenced by the nature of the local building stock. Therefore, this proposed research will take a case study approach for Kingston, Canada to determine the potential for RSPV implementation and explore the constraints that socio-economic indicators such as income or acceptance behaviour might have on deployment within this context. The purpose of this study is to understand potential correlations between physical feasibility and socio-economic factors to: 1) determine which type of GIS methods accurately quantify RSPV potential for Kingston depending on the quality of data available; 2) apply the most appropriate GIS methods from the results of objective one to the municipal region of Kingston, to determine the amount, location, and distribution of rooftops that are physically and geographically feasible for RSPV deployment; and 3) determine and highlight the locations within the study area where socio-economic data is favourable for RSPV deployment, and where these areas overlap with physical feasibility for RSPV deployment. Delivery of this proposed research project would further explore the use of GIS in understanding the connection of renewable energy implementation to the people living in the community, alongside the physical, geographic, technical, economic, and environmental feasibility. This type of comprehensive analysis can create a more complete picture for informed decision-making.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/28082
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