Energy demand continuously increases due to the growth of population and industries and rising consumption of electric energy in current decade. Because of the limitation of fossil fuels reserves and environmental problems of using those energy sources, optimization of energy consumption and using new and renewable energy sources are essential. Among renewable energies, wind energy due to low power production price and less environmental pollutions, becomes more an attractive renewable energy source. Recent shortages of power and fuel have aroused interest in the possibility of utilizing wind power on a large scale for the generation of electricity in Iran. For determining, an appropriate location for a wind farm, several criteria and different factors should be considered.
Renewable energy resources exist over wide geographical areas, in contrast to other energy sources, which are concentrated in a limited number of countries. Rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency is resulting in significant energy security, climate change mitigation, and economic benefits.
For this potential to be fully realized, several aspects, related to public acceptance, and technical issues, related to the expected increase in penetration on the electricity network and the current drive towards larger wind turbines, need to be resolved. Nevertheless, these challenges will be met and wind energy will, very likely, become increasingly important over the next two decades. Wind farms consist of many individual wind turbines which are connected to the electric power transmission network. Onshore wind is an inexpensive source of electric power, competitive with or in many places cheaper than coal or gas plants.
While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas and developing countries, where energy is often crucial in human development. Areas where winds are stronger and more constant, such as offshore and high altitude sites are preferred locations for wind farms.
In the present study, at the first those important factors identified and localization. Besides that, the role and the influence of each factor are determined and several thematic maps were prepared by using ArcGIS and finally digital based maps integration by applying the fuzzy logic models. In order to accomplish the above-mentioned integration method, Damghan’s county of Semnan province as a windy area was selected because of its great wind potential. Damghan has the best conditions to install wind turbine compared to others in the province mentioned.
As a result, 2240 square kilometers (about 16% of the total land) of Damghan’s county were selected as suitable locations for wind power plants. These areas are located in adequate distance from access roads, transmission lines, population centers and so on and so forth. Extractable amount of the wind energy in Damghan’s county, by considering appropriate distance between wind turbines and wind farms to avoid wake effects and losses, has been estimated about 1000 Mega Watts.