Wind farm site selection using GIS-based multicriteria analysis with Life cycle assessment integration

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Demir A., Dinçer A. E., Çiftçi C., Gülçimen S., Uzal N., Yılmaz K.

Earth Science Informatics, vol.17, no.2, pp.1591-1608, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12145-024-01227-4
  • Journal Name: Earth Science Informatics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC
  • Page Numbers: pp.1591-1608
  • Keywords: Analytical hierarchy process, Life cycle assessment, SimaPro, Sustainability, Wind energy
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


The sustainability of wind power plants depends on the selection of suitable installation locations, which should consider not only economic and technical factors including manufacturing and raw materials, but also issues pertaining to the environment. In the present study, a novel methodology is proposed to determine the suitable locations for wind turbine farms by analyzing from the environmental perspective. In the methodology, the life cycle assessment (LCA) of wind turbines is incorporated into the decision process. The criteria are ranked using analytical hierarchy process (AHP). The study area is chosen as the western region of Türkiye. The obtained suitability map reveals that wind speed is not the sole criterion for selecting a site for wind turbine farms; other factors, such as bird migration paths, distance from urban areas and land use, are also crucial. The results also reveal that constructing wind power plants in the vicinity of İzmir, Çanakkale, Istanbul, and Balıkesir in Türkiye can lead to a reduction in emissions. İzmir and its surrounding area show the best environmental performance with the lowest CO2 per kilowatt-hour (7.14 g CO2 eq/kWh), to install a wind turbine due to its proximity to the harbor and steel factory across the study area. Çanakkale and the northwest region of Türkiye, despite having high wind speeds, are less environmentally favorable than İzmir, Balıkesir, and Istanbul. The findings of LCA reveal that the nacelle and rotor components of the wind turbine contribute significantly (43–97%) to the environmental impact categories studied, while the tower component (0–36%) also has an impact.