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Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 4 (April 2014), Pages 1643-2391

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Open AccessArticle A Sustainable Tourism Paradigm: Opportunities and Limits for Forest Landscape Planning
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2379-2391; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042379
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (602 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The promotion of sustainable tourism models has been widely debated; many pages have been devoted to the attempt to provide the subject with a strong theoretical base and coherent structure. This said, it is still the case that, although such frameworks are crucial
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The promotion of sustainable tourism models has been widely debated; many pages have been devoted to the attempt to provide the subject with a strong theoretical base and coherent structure. This said, it is still the case that, although such frameworks are crucial for the development of appropriate planning and policy instruments, their actual implementation continue to be fraught with difficulties. These problems are exacerbated when sustainable tourism entails development opportunities which require the support of the local community and the management of natural resources which are typically common goods. Under these circumstances, new management structures, which can both satisfy the needs of the local community and ensure the appropriate stewardship of the natural resources, must be created. Management solutions are not always easy to define and often need to be considered within a general framework, based on which individual cases are then formulated. This study analyses the connections between models of sustainable tourism and natural resource management considering the forest landscape case. This relationship is first examined from a theoretical perspective and then within a case study, in order to highlight the dual approach—both general and within a specific context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reframing Sustainable Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle Development of Web-Based RECESS Model for Estimating Baseflow Using SWAT
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2357-2378; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042357
Received: 19 January 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3309 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Groundwater has received increasing attention as an important strategic water resource for adaptation to climate change. In this regard, the separation of baseflow from streamflow and the analysis of recession curves make a significant contribution to integrated river basin management. The United States
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Groundwater has received increasing attention as an important strategic water resource for adaptation to climate change. In this regard, the separation of baseflow from streamflow and the analysis of recession curves make a significant contribution to integrated river basin management. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) RECESS model adopting the master-recession curve (MRC) method can enhance the accuracy with which baseflow may be separated from streamflow, compared to other baseflow-separation schemes that are more limited in their ability to reflect various watershed/aquifer characteristics. The RECESS model has been widely used for the analysis of hydrographs, but the applications using RECESS were only available through Microsoft-Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). Thus, this study aims to develop a web-based RECESS model for easy separation of baseflow from streamflow, with easy applications for ungauged regions. RECESS on the web derived the alpha factor, which is a baseflow recession constant in the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), and this variable was provided to SWAT as the input. The results showed that the alpha factor estimated from the web-based RECESS model improved the predictions of streamflow and recession. Furthermore, these findings showed that the baseflow characteristics of the ungauged watersheds were influenced by the land use and slope angle of watersheds, as well as by precipitation and streamflow. Full article
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Open AccessReview Identifying Legal, Ecological and Governance Obstacles, and Opportunities for Adapting to Climate Change
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2338-2356; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042338
Received: 6 March 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current governance of regional scale water management systems in the United States has not placed them on a path toward sustainability, as conflict and gridlock characterize the social arena and ecosystem services continue to erode. Changing climate may continue this trajectory, but it
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Current governance of regional scale water management systems in the United States has not placed them on a path toward sustainability, as conflict and gridlock characterize the social arena and ecosystem services continue to erode. Changing climate may continue this trajectory, but it also provides a catalyst for renewal of ecosystems and a window of opportunity for change in institutions. Resilience provides a bridging concept that predicts that change in ecological and social systems is often dramatic, abrupt, and surprising. Adapting to the uncertainty of climate driven change must be done in a manner perceived as legitimate by the participants in a democratic society. Adaptation must begin with the current hierarchical and fragmented social-ecological system as a baseline from which new approaches must be applied. Achieving a level of integration between ecological concepts and governance requires a dialogue across multiple disciplines, including ecologists with expertise in ecological resilience, hydrologists and climate experts, with social scientists and legal scholars. Criteria and models that link ecological dynamics with policies in complex, multi-jurisdictional water basins with adaptive management and governance frameworks may move these social-ecological systems toward greater sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Simulation and Prediction of Decarbonated Development in Tourist Attractions Associated with Low-carbon Economy
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2320-2337; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042320
Received: 29 January 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (770 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the field of tourism, the development of tourist attractions is gradually playing a crucial role in tourism economy, regional economy and national economy. While tourism economy is stimulated by growing demand, tourist attractions have been facing the situation that ecological environment is
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In the field of tourism, the development of tourist attractions is gradually playing a crucial role in tourism economy, regional economy and national economy. While tourism economy is stimulated by growing demand, tourist attractions have been facing the situation that ecological environment is becoming fragile and environmental protection is increasingly difficult in China. As low-carbon economy is highlighted more than ever before, how to develop green economy, how to apply theories and technologies, which are related to low-carbon economy, to push forward decarbonation, to protect the ecological environment, and to boost the development of tourism economy have become the core problems for the sustainable development of tourist attractions system. In addition, this system has drawn the attention of scholars and practitioners in recent years. On the basis of low-carbon economy, this paper tries to define the decarbonated development goals and the connotation of tourist attractions system. In addition, it also discusses system structure associated with system dynamics and system engineering, and constructs system simulation model. In the end, a case study is conducted, that is, to predict the development trend of Jiuzhai Valley by adopting the constructed system so as to extend the previous research on low-carbon tourism and to guide the decarbonated development in tourist attractions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Farm Models and Eco-Health of Poultry Production Clusters (PPCs) following Avian Influenza Epidemics in Thailand
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2300-2319; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042300
Received: 4 December 2013 / Revised: 6 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
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Abstract
Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and is a country that was affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) epidemics during 2003–2004. Nevertheless, the Thai government’s issuance policy of strict control and prevention of the disease has resulted in efficient disease control of
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Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and is a country that was affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) epidemics during 2003–2004. Nevertheless, the Thai government’s issuance policy of strict control and prevention of the disease has resulted in efficient disease control of avian influenza (AI). Poultry farmers have been both positively and negatively affected by this policy. There are three poultry cluster models worthy of attention in Thailand: (1) egg chicken poultry clusters over ponds; (2) egg chicken poultry clusters in coops raised from the ground and managed by a cooperative; and (3) poultry clusters in closed coops under contract with the private sector. Following the AI epidemics, additional poultry husbandry and biosecurity systems were developed, thereby generating income and improving the quality of life for poultry farmers. Nevertheless, raising large clusters of poultry in the same area results in disadvantages, particularly problems with both air and water pollution, depending upon the environments of each poultry model. Furthermore, the government’s policy for controlling AI during epidemics has had a negative effect on the relationship between officials and farmers, due to poultry destruction measures. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Urban Eco-Security—A Case Study of Mianyang City, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2281-2299; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042281
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (555 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Currently, a series of ecological environmental problems have been brought about by high-intensity intervention of human beings, and ecological security is regarded as one of the most important national survival strategies. A methodology of urban eco-security evaluation has been introduced, including a conceptual
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Currently, a series of ecological environmental problems have been brought about by high-intensity intervention of human beings, and ecological security is regarded as one of the most important national survival strategies. A methodology of urban eco-security evaluation has been introduced, including a conceptual framework of pressure-state-response (PSR) model, setting-up of the indicator system of urban eco-security evaluation (ISUESE) and empirical research. By virtue of the mean-deviation method, the weight coefficient of every indicator is confirmed. It has been found that the top three indicators are: per capita area of paved road, per capita area of cultivated land and green coverage rate of built-up area, which has a relatively prominent status in he urban ecological security. A calculation procedure of fuzzy comprehensive evaluation (FCE) method is applied in empirical research. The Mianyang statistical data during the period of 2005–2012 shows that eco-security keeps a favorable trend, but criticality security and slight insecurity are dominant. It has also been found that insecurity membership degree (MD) of environment pressure accounts for a very large proportion of total pressure. Membership degrees of criticality security and security in environment state are increasing gradually, and as far as environment response is concerned, security is significantly increased. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Spatial Disparities and Driving Factors of Energy Consumption Change in China Based on Spatial Statistics
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2264-2280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042264
Received: 29 January 2014 / Revised: 7 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
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Abstract
The changes of spatial pattern in energy consumption have an impact on global climate change. Based on the spatial autocorrelation analysis and the auto-regression model of spatial statistics, this study has explored the spatial disparities and driving forces in energy consumption changes in
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The changes of spatial pattern in energy consumption have an impact on global climate change. Based on the spatial autocorrelation analysis and the auto-regression model of spatial statistics, this study has explored the spatial disparities and driving forces in energy consumption changes in China. The results show that the global spatial autocorrelation of energy consumption change in China is significant during the period 1990–2010, and the trend of spatial clustering of energy consumption change is weakened. The regions with higher energy consumption change are significantly distributed in the developed coastal areas in China, while those with lower energy consumption change are significantly distributed in the less developed western regions in China. Energy consumption change in China is mainly caused by transportation industry and non-labor intensive industry. Rapid economic development and higher industrialization rate are the main causes for faster changes in energy consumption in China. The results also indicate that spatial autoregressive model can reveal more influencing factors of energy consumption changes in China, in contrast with standard linear model. At last, this study has put forward the corresponding measures or policies for dealing with the growing trend of energy consumption in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Government Governance, Legal Environment and Sustainable Economic Development
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2248-2263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042248
Received: 29 January 2014 / Revised: 7 April 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (796 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on China’s inter-provincial panel data from 1999–2009, this paper has tested the impact and extent of marketization, government governance, and legal environment of sustainable economic development by controlling physical capital, human capital and productivity, so as to find the institutional reality for
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Based on China’s inter-provincial panel data from 1999–2009, this paper has tested the impact and extent of marketization, government governance, and legal environment of sustainable economic development by controlling physical capital, human capital and productivity, so as to find the institutional reality for the difference in China’s economic development and another explanation for it. It turns out that marketization, government governance, and legal environment play significant roles in promoting sustainable economic development. Further tests show that the results of Eastern China are consistent with China’s inter-provincial results; while in Western China, the promotion effect of marketization, government governance, and legal environment on sustainable economic development is not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Pioneering in Marginal Fields: Jatropha for Carbon Credits and Restoring Degraded Land in Eastern Indonesia
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2223-2247; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042223
Received: 5 December 2013 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 24 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (754 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper highlights the role of a national Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Indonesia as “pioneer” actor in the jatropha global production network, linking solutions for local problems with narratives concerning global concerns. Analysis of previous activities of the NGO positions their jatropha project
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This paper highlights the role of a national Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Indonesia as “pioneer” actor in the jatropha global production network, linking solutions for local problems with narratives concerning global concerns. Analysis of previous activities of the NGO positions their jatropha project as one period in a sequence of donor-funded appropriate technology programs. On the island of Flores in Eastern Indonesia the NGO aimed to establish community based jatropha cultivation exclusively on “degraded land”, avoiding threats to food cultivation, and responding to local problems of land degradation and water resources depletion. In contrast with investors interested in jatropha based biofuel production for export, the NGO aimed at developing biofuel for local needs, including jatropha based electricity generation in the regional state-owned power plant. Anticipating progress in international and national regulations concerning the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) the 2008 project’s design included carbon credit income as a main source of future project financing. Using methods of socio-legal studies and political ecology, this study indicates that when the economic feasibility of a project is based on the future financial value of a legally constructed commodity like carbon credits, the sustainability of the project outcome can be questionable. The author recommends precaution when it comes to including anticipated income from carbon credits in calculating the economic viability of a project, as price developments can fluctuate when political support and regulations change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Step towards Developing a Sustainability Performance Measure within Industrial Networks
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2201-2222; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042201
Received: 14 October 2013 / Revised: 5 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (715 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the plethora of literature in sustainability and supply chain management in the recent years, a quantitative tool that measures the sustainability performance of an industrial supply network, considering the uncertainties of existing data, is hard to find. This conceptual paper is aimed
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Despite the plethora of literature in sustainability and supply chain management in the recent years, a quantitative tool that measures the sustainability performance of an industrial supply network, considering the uncertainties of existing data, is hard to find. This conceptual paper is aimed at establishing a quantitative measure for the sustainability performance of industrial supply networks that considers aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in its environmental performance evaluation. The measure is built upon economic, environmental and social performance evaluation models. These models address a number of shortcomings in the literature, such as incomplete and inaccurate calculation of environmental impacts, as well as the disregard for aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in the input data and, more importantly, the scarce number of quantitative social sustainability measures. Dyadic interactions are chosen for the network, while the network members have a revenue-sharing relationship. This relationship promotes sharing of the required information for the use of the proposed model. This measure provides an approach to quantify the environmental, social and economic sustainability performances of a supply network. Moreover, as this measure is not specifically designed for an industrial sector, it can be employed over an evolving and diverse industrial network. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Constructs for Modeling Consumers’ Understanding and Perception of Eco-Labels
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2176-2200; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042176
Received: 1 January 2014 / Revised: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (861 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The term “eco-labeling” has become a buzzword in today’s sustainable business world. The use of eco-labeling in various forms has been increasing notably for past many years, sometimes as an environmental “requirement” and sometimes merely as a marketing tool. Questions arise about how
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The term “eco-labeling” has become a buzzword in today’s sustainable business world. The use of eco-labeling in various forms has been increasing notably for past many years, sometimes as an environmental “requirement” and sometimes merely as a marketing tool. Questions arise about how well these eco-labels are attended and understood by consumers. However, though mentionable studies are found on various aspects of eco-labels, gaps exist in exploring an inclusive set of parameters for investigating consumer perceptions of eco-labels. This paper aims at preparing a synthesis of all the possible factors to be incorporated for measuring consumer perceptions of eco-labeling of products. For making such synthesis, all major works in the field have been thoroughly reviewed. The paper comes up with a total of 10 parameters that include consumer awareness, consumer knowledge, consumer involvement, consumer trust, design and visibility, credibility of the source, type and level of information, clarity of meaning, persuasiveness, and private benefits. This tentative, yet inclusive, set of parameters is thought to be useful for designing large scale future empirical researches for developing a dependable inclusive set of parameters to test consumer understanding and perceptions of eco-label. A framework is proposed for further empirical research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Changing Paradigms: A Sketch for Sustainable Wellbeing and Ecosocial Policy
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2160-2175; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042160
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 April 2014 / Published: 15 April 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (505 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We live in the Anthropocene era, where human action has an unforeseen impact on global ecosystems. This is visible, for instance, in climate change, in the loss of biodiversity and in the acidification of the oceans. Little attention is given to the fact
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We live in the Anthropocene era, where human action has an unforeseen impact on global ecosystems. This is visible, for instance, in climate change, in the loss of biodiversity and in the acidification of the oceans. Little attention is given to the fact that the Anthropocene is related to anthropocentric thinking that also guides our policies. Therefore, we argue that ecologically and socially sustainable policies will not be achieved by incidental policy measures alone, but a change of paradigm is needed. In our article, we lay out the tenets of a relational paradigm resting on holistic thinking and deep ecology. On the basis of this paradigm, the principles, conceptions and goals specific to any given policy can be formulated, giving them a common ground. In this article, we apply the relational paradigm to social policy in order to contribute to the quest for sustainable wellbeing in the overconsuming welfare states. Here, we formulate a multidimensional and relational conception of wellbeing, the HDLB-model (Having-Doing-Loving-Being), which is a modification of sociologist Erik Allardt’s theory. We illustrate how this model could provide the foundation of a sustainable ecosocial policy. Full article
Open AccessArticle From Environmental to Sustainability Programs: A Review of Sustainability Initiatives in the Italian Wine Sector
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2133-2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042133
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 15 April 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (964 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Italian wine industry is strongly committed to sustainability: the stakeholders’ interest for the topic is constantly growing and a wide number of sustainability programs have been launched in recent years, by both private businesses and consortiums. The launch of these initiatives has
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The Italian wine industry is strongly committed to sustainability: the stakeholders’ interest for the topic is constantly growing and a wide number of sustainability programs have been launched in recent years, by both private businesses and consortiums. The launch of these initiatives has signaled the commitment of farmers and wine producers to the implementation of sustainability principles in viticulture and wine production, which is a positive signal. Unfortunately, however, the varied design of the sustainability initiatives and the differences in the objectives, methodologies, and proposed tools risks to create confusion, and undermine the positive aspects of these initiatives. In order to bring some clarity to this topic, we herein present a comparison of the most important sustainability programs in the Italian wine sector, with the overall objective of highlighting the opportunity to create synergies between the initiatives and define a common sustainability strategy for the Italian wine sector. Full article
Open AccessArticle Lessons Learned from Developing a New Distance-Learning Masters Course in the Green Economy
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2118-2132; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042118
Received: 5 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 15 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (553 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is widely recognised that for the green economy to develop successfully, new educational curricula will be required to help professionals develop appropriate knowledge and skills. Relatively few university courses have been developed to date that explicitly focus on the green economy, reflecting
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It is widely recognised that for the green economy to develop successfully, new educational curricula will be required to help professionals develop appropriate knowledge and skills. Relatively few university courses have been developed to date that explicitly focus on the green economy, reflecting its recent origins. Here we present the lessons learned from developing and implementing a new Masters course in the green economy, at Bournemouth University in the UK. The most significant challenges were institutional barriers, such as different departmental policies and procedures and decentralised budget strategies, which inhibited the cross-departmental collaboration desired for interdisciplinarity. Uncertainty about the future development of the green economy and its value as a concept, among both teaching staff and prospective students, presented a further challenge. In addition, the development of an appropriate curriculum for green economy courses has received little attention previously. Here, we present an overview of the curriculum developed for this Masters-level course, and, based on our experience, we demonstrate how the challenges in developing such a course can successfully be overcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Skills for the Green Economy)
Open AccessArticle A GIS-Based Approach in Support of Spatial Planning for Renewable Energy: A Case Study of Fukushima, Japan
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2087-2117; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6042087
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (5972 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an approach in support of spatial planning for renewable energy at the regional level. It aims to establish an elaborate and informative procedure, as well as integrated quantification and visualization, to support decision making. The proposed approach is composed of
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This paper presents an approach in support of spatial planning for renewable energy at the regional level. It aims to establish an elaborate and informative procedure, as well as integrated quantification and visualization, to support decision making. The proposed approach is composed of a set of sequential steps that include primary energy consumption estimation, renewable energy potential estimation, energy self-sufficiency analysis, and composite map preparation using Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS is used to analyze solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydro-power potential within Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Potential sites are determined based on geographic, topographic, and land use constraints. Evacuees’ population and forest radiation levels are specifically considered in the context of consequent issues emanating from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis. Energy self-sufficiency analysis has been conducted for years 2020 and 2030. A composite map showing potential sites and their interrelation to the above renewable energy resources has also been presented. These results may support decision making in regional renewable energy planning, by providing information on regional potentials and restrictions to different energy stakeholders. This can help to build an energy developmental vision, which can drive regional energy development towards sustainability. The proposed approach can also be applied to other Japanese municipalities or regions. It provides an example on how to establish local GIS databases through the utilization of various online open GIS resources in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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