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Open AccessArticle

The Role of Earth Observation Satellites in Maximizing Renewable Energy Production: Case Studies Analysis for Renewable Power Plants

1
Department of Law and Economics, Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, 295, 00161 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Business and Economics, University of Naples Parthenope, Via Generale Parisi, 13, 80132 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2062; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052062
Received: 9 February 2020 / Revised: 5 March 2020 / Accepted: 5 March 2020 / Published: 7 March 2020
This paper is based on a novel approach towards clean energy production, i.e., space innovative applications toward sustainable development. Specifically, the role of Earth observation (EO) satellites in maximizing renewable energy production is considered to show the enormous potential in exploiting sustainable energy generation plants when the Earth is mapped by satellites to provide some peculiar parameters (e.g., solar irradiance, wind speed, precipitation, climate conditions, geothermal data). In this framework, RETScreen clean energy management software can be used for numerical analysis, such as energy generation and efficiency, prices, emission reductions, financial viability and hazard of various types of renewable-energy and energy-efficient technologies (RETs), based on a large database of satellite parameters. This simplifies initial assessments and provides streamlined processes that enable funders, architects, designers, regulators, etc. to make decisions on future clean energy initiatives. After describing the logic of life cycle analysis of RETScreen, two case studies (Mexicali and Toronto) on multiple technologies power plant are analyzed. The different results obtained, when projecting the two scenarios, showed how the software could be useful in the pre-feasibility phase to discriminate the type of installation not efficient for the selected location or not convenient in terms of internal rate of return (IRR) on equity. View Full-Text
Keywords: renewable energy; space industry; RETScreen renewable energy; space industry; RETScreen
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Argentiero, M.; Falcone, P.M. The Role of Earth Observation Satellites in Maximizing Renewable Energy Production: Case Studies Analysis for Renewable Power Plants. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2062.

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