The Multi-criteria Analysis for Planning Renewable Energy (MapRE) initiative seeks to provide a framework for the systematic identification and valuation of areas for renewable energy development–focusing mainly on solar and wind technologies–for developing countries. By providing government officials, regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders information about multiple siting criteria for possible renewable energy zones in the form of reproducible planning tools, the MapRE initiative seeks to improve the planning of low-carbon, cost-effective, socially and environmentally responsible energy systems. Currently, the emphasis is on utility-scale solar and wind zones, but the spatial models may also be applied to identify off-grid development.
Siting criteria estimated for each potential suitable zone or project area include the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of generation, transmission connection, and road access; distance to the nearest major load center, human footprint score (a proxy for degree of human disturbance), capacity value of wind (a measure of how well a wind generation time series profile matches the demand time series profile), and population density. These and other criteria for mapped zones are available for viewing and comparison through the interactive pdf and web-based maps and excel spreadsheet tools. All non-proprietary data inputs and outputs are available for download.
The MapRE initiative was initially developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and is now developed and hosted by the University of California Santa Barbara.
The World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP), the University of California Santa Barbara, and Development Seed developed and released the online REZoning tool (2021) based on the MapRE methodology and Tableau tool.