Study on a GIS tool for rural electrification planning
We are pleased to share this article which presents a GIS tool for planning rural electrification taking into account land-use planning criteria for Renewable Energy Sources. The research raises the need to consider criteria and concepts of land-use into rural electrification planning, so as to avoid conflicts in land-use or the preservation of resources and the environment; fundamental aspects to guarantee the use of available resources and limit development in sensitive areas. The starting hypothesis is based on the capacities of GIS for the development of efficient land-use planning measures in the solution of energy and environmental problems that may favor the implementation of renewable energies in a sustainable way.
On these bases, a tool based on a plugin for QGIS has been developed, which is compatible with versions 2.x., and which includes five functionalities. "Determine sensitive areas", "Calculate distances to the national electric network and the main roads", "Length of low-voltage lines", "Analyze rural homes" and "Update communities data". The investigation means a contribution in the systematization of tools and methodologies for rural electrification planning, taking into account land-use planning criteria. In this sense, it contributes to the knowledge of the territories' potentialities for renewable energy production and to the analysis methods that facilitate their spatial location and measurement. The application, management and validation of the planning results are carried out in the province of Las Tunas, located in the eastern region of the Island of Cuba.