Estimating Rooftop Solar Potential in Urban Environments: A Generalized Approach and Assessment of the Galápagos Islands
Currently, many small island communities depend on fossil fuel resources for energy, neglecting the rich abundance of renewable energy resources. Although various solar energy potential modeling tools have been developed, most require high-resolution data, which do not presently exist for many developing countries or remote areas. In this study, researchers from the Environmental Frontiers Initiative — Amy Tian, Daniel Zünd, and Luís Bettencourt — calculated the potential of rooftop solar systems using low-cost and readily available data in the two major urban centers on the Galápagos Islands: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and Puerto Ayora. The study released in Frontiers in Sustainable Cities discovered that only 25% of total rooftop area must be covered with today’s solar energy production technology to meet the current electricity demand of rooftops in these two cities respectively. This approach can be replicated by local communities and decision-makers to obtain an estimate of solar potential before investing in more detailed analysis.
Citation: Front. Sustain. Cities, 22 June 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/frsc.2021.632109
This announcement first appeared in the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation’s monthly newsletter, July 30, 2021.