Publication - Multicriteria Decision-Making Approach for Optimum Site Selection for Off-Grid Solar Photovoltaic Microgrids in Mozambique
electricity, and priorities in addressing the climate agenda and Sustainable Development Goals in low-income countries, microgrids, and off-grid solar projects represent a viable solution for rural electrification. This type of solution has the advantage of being less expensive than conventional technologies, is rapidly scalable, affordable, environmentally sustainable, and can play a critical role in empowering rural communities. In this context, this study proposed a spatial framework for off-grid solar energy planning based on a Geographical Information System and Boolean logic, Fuzzy logic, and Analytic Hierarchy Process Multicriteria Decision-Making methods. The results of the applied methodology show that the selection of optimal locations for off-grid solar photovoltaic microgrid projects in Mozambique is significantly influenced by the following order of criteria:climatology, orography, technical and location, social, and institutional criteria. Geographically, about 49% or 344,664.36 km2 of the total study area is initially suitable for an off-grid solar photovoltaic microgrid project; 4% is low suitable, 14% is moderately suitable, 18% is suitable, and 13% is highly suitable. However, 51% of the ranked areas fall into the not feasible and restricted areas, mainly in conservation areas, protected areas, and areas at high risk of flooding and cyclones, covering a total of 387,005.5 km2 within the study area. In general, the approach helps to reduce uncertainty and increase flexibility to identify appropriate sites and strengthen indicators of sustainable development impacts of decentralized rural electrification.