Dynamic Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis of Electricity Generation Mix Choices for Future Sustainability

David G. del Riego, Jose A. Souto, and Juan J. Casares


Multi-criteria decision making, System dynamics, TOPSIS, Energy planning, Sustainable energy, Generation technologies


Sustainable energy is that generated and used in order to supports long time human development in social, economic and environmental dimensions. There are a lot of fuels and technological possibilities in electricity generation but no one of them can be considered dominant in all dimensions. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) has become a popular decision-making method because allows to evaluate sustainability as a function of representative selected criteria of sustainability dimensions; in addition, multi-criteria decision analysis facilitates to address complex problems that usually have high level of uncertainty, several conflicting objectives, different data and information. This paper introduces a sustainability assessment of different generation technologies throughout its life cycle by the application of an MCDA method, namely TOPSIS (Technique for order by similarity to ideal solution). This assessment is realized in a system dynamics model which not only calculates the ranking of technology under several criteria for every year in the analysed period but also distributes the new generation capacity needed between the technology possibilities. This distribution is based in an evolution for the electricity mix which assumed as the more sustainable evolution under the considered criteria and conditions. In this work, the methodology is applied to the Spanish Electric Network.

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