A multi-criteria framework to assess the sustainability of renewable energy development in the Alps
De Meo I
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A multi-criteria analysis (MCA) was implemented to assess the best solutions for enhancing the production of renewable energy in the Alps. A set of criteria were selected based on the impacts of four renewable energy sources (forest biomass, hydropower, ground solar photovoltaic and wind power) on the three spheres of sustainability (environmental, social and economic). Three different scenarios are presented, each with a different set of weights for the criteria: the first scenario considers equally all three aspects of sustainability; the second scenario foresees an environmentally-oriented perspective, while the third scenario is more focused on the socio-economic aspects related to the development of renewable energy. Results show that forest biomass and hydropower seem to be the most viable solutions for enhancing the share of renewable energy in the Alps. Ground solar photovoltaic and wind power, on the other hand, seem to be less attractive alternatives due to their high impacts on land use.