A model for predicting the potential diffusion of solar energy systems in complex urban environments

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34 Citations (Scopus)


The necessity to reduce greenhouse gases emission produced by energy building consumptions and to cut the energy bill (mainly due to the use of fossil sources) leads to the employment of renewable energy sources in new planned scenarios. In particular, more and more often municipal energy and environmental plans pay great attention to the possibilities of employment of the solar technologies at urban scale.Solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) systems are, by far, the most suitable tools to be utilized in urban areas. Obviously, the proper adoption of such systems in buildings does call for the availability of calculation methods suitable to provide the actual level of exploitation of solar energy in urban layouts.In this work, a procedure for evaluating the geographical energy potential of building roofs in urban areas is proposed; in particular, the amount of surface on the roof that could be used for the installation of systems able to capture solar radiation for the energy production is investigated. The proposed procedure is based on the use of the GIS technology and 3D cartography. The effectiveness of the proposed method is assessed by means of an application to the town of Palermo (Italy).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5335-5343
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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