Modeling Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 1529–1542 | Cite as

Modeling potential zones for solar energy in Fayoum, Egypt, using satellite and spatial data

  • Hala A. Effat
  • Ahmed El-Zeiny
Original Article


The objective of this research is to delimitate optimal sites for solar grid-connected photovoltaic and concentrated solar power plants in El Fayoum region, Egypt. The method applies a GIS-based methodology to estimate the technical potential of such sites. Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model was used to model the global solar radiation map for 2016. Data from satellite images and topographic maps were combined in a GIS multi-criteria decision model. Criteria including solar radiation, topography, infrastructure, and land-cover/land-use were standardized and aggregated using weighted linear combination method. The global solar radiation and sunshine hours were used to model the geographic and technical potentials for the Photovoltaic (PV). For estimation of thermal concentrated solar power (CSP) geographic potential, only direct solar radiation was used. Landsat 8 OLI satellite image was used to derive the land-use/land-cover map. Using area constraint, twenty-three potential sites were selected from the suitability index based on the maximum suitability values and site-area. The geographic potentials for PV and CSP were calculated for each of the candidate sites using the area constraint, sunshine hours and conversion efficiency. The technical potential were estimated using conversion efficiency, performance ratio and geographic potentials. A geographic database encompassing the candidate sites was created. The calculated CSP technical potential for the candidate sites range between 112 and 160 kW. The PV technical potential range between 268 and 374 kW. The study results provide a database for potential solar farm sites and indicates a good capacity for solar energy in El-Fayoum region.


Solar energy Potential sites GIS Satellite image El Fayoum-Egypt 



This paper is part of a research project funded by the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, NARSS, Egypt.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Environmental Studies and Land UseNational Authority for Remote Sensing and Space SciencesCairoEgypt

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