A GIS Study on Estimating the Solar Power Potential in Urban Places: A Rooftop Analysis in Edinburgh, Scotland
Due to the increased threat from climate change, it is getting more important to transition to renewable energy and reduce our CO2 emissions. Solar has potential to support urban areas and domestic users. Furthermore, as the price of solar energy continues to decrease and with the increasing electricity prices, solar becomes more attractive to a wider group of people. This GIS based study aims to investigate the solar power potential of Edinburgh, the way it can support neighbourhoods and the way it can play an important role in reaching the city’s net zero targets. Solar irradiance was measured over a year using the Area Solar Radiation tool available in ArcGIS. This study found differences between demographics by identifying the 20 most and the 20 least deprived neighbourhoods in terms of their solar power potential. More affluent areas could support their electricity demand and generate enough electricity to be stored or exported. On the other hand, the most deprived neighbourhoods do not have the potential to cover their electricity consumption and would require further support. Overall results show that around 90% of the domestic electricity consumption, and about 40% of the total electricity demand of the city could be covered with a city-wide roof solar program. Moreover, it was estimated that 397,926.57 tonnes of carbon could be avoided annually.