This paper presents an approach in support of spatial planning for renewable energy at the regional level. It aims to establish an elaborate and informative procedure, as well as integrated quantification and visualization, to support decision making. The proposed approach is composed of a set of sequential steps that include primary energy consumption estimation, renewable energy potential estimation, energy self-sufficiency analysis, and composite map preparation using Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS is used to analyze solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydro-power potential within Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Potential sites are determined based on geographic, topographic, and land use constraints. Evacuees' population and forest radiation levels are specifically considered in the context of consequent issues emanating from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis. Energy self-sufficiency analysis has been conducted for years 2020 and 2030. A composite map showing potential sites and their interrelation to the above renewable energy resources has also been presented. These results may support decision making in regional renewable energy planning, by providing information on regional potentials and restrictions to different energy stakeholders. This can help to build an energy developmental vision, which can drive regional energy development towards sustainability. The proposed approach can also be applied to other Japanese municipalities or regions. It provides an example on how to establish local GIS databases through the utilization of various online open GIS resources in Japan. © 2014 by the authors.
Wang, Q., M’Ikiugu, M. M., & Kinoshita, I. (2014). A GIS-based approach in support of spatial planning for renewable energy: A case study of Fukushima, Japan. Sustainability (Switzerland), 6(4), 2087–2117. https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042087