Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Methods for Biomass Energy Systems: A Review

Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Methods for Biomass Energy Systems: A Review

Meral Güldeş, Ömer Faruk Gürcan
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-2472-8.ch008
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Global climate change is one of the most challenging problems of today's world and its effects have become more noticeable day after day. The magnitude of climate change is closely related to our carbon footprint, so replacing the resources such as petroleum, coal, nuclear energy by which humankind generates their energy requirements with new ones is essential. The usage of renewable energy resources is one of the effective ways to decrease CO2 emissions and environmental pollution. Biomass energy is one of the promising future energies as a renewable resource. Therefore, many requirements should be considered and evaluated carefully to produce and sustain a successful biomass energy system. This chapter presents a review of academic research attempting to face the biomass energy sector's problems using multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods. Related articles in the international journals from 2010 to 2021 are collected and reviewed to answer the following questions: (1) Which methods are mainly used? (2) Which problems attract the most attention?
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Industrialization and motorization are increasing all over the world. Energy demand is increasing in proportion to these developments, and 80% of this need is met from fossil fuels. Despite the rapidly increasing energy demand, the effort to meet these demands with limited fossil fuels has accelerated the searching to introduce new energy sources in the coming years. One of the main motivations in these studies is that the environmental damage caused by fossil fuels is becoming challenging to reverse. Increasing energy consumption causes an increase in GHG emissions; therefore, environmental damage increases. In order to meet the energy demand in the coming years, the world has accelerated the search for environmentally friendly, renewable, efficient, and cost-effective alternative energy sources instead of fossil fuels, which are gradually decreasing and causing an increase in GHG emissions. While countries are creating their energy policies, they are taking initiatives to supply their energy demands from cheap, reliable, and sustainable alternative sources. Alternative energy is a concept that expresses the substitution of other energy sources for the need for crude oil and thus reducing the environmental damage brought about by climate change. Alternative energy sources include solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass energy. When considering renewable energy sources, solar and wind energies are the first ones that come to mind. However, from the first human to this day, many people have used wood, fertilizer, and coal as fuel while fulfilling their daily routines such as cooking. Considering the increasing population, mostly living in rural areas, especially in developing countries, the use of these resources is undeniable.

Fuelwood consumption has increased by 250% since 1960. This fact shows us that this energy, which we call biomass, is an important element of renewable energy sources. Today, biomass energy has a share of 14% in primary energy sources. Every year, several million tons of agricultural waste are destroyed in different ways, such as incineration, land applications, and landfilling. As a result, high potential bio-renewable energy sources cannot be used. Biomass energy meets 35% of the energy needs of developing countries. It is predicted that by 2050, 90% of the world population will live in developing countries. Therefore, biomass energy is of great importance for these countries where agriculture is an important source of livelihood (Pathak, Chaudhari, & Fulekar, 2013).

The world population continues to increase rapidly. Today’s world population is twice that of 1960 and is expected to approach 9 billion by 2050 (Perea-Moreno, Samerón-Manzano, & Perea-Moreno, 2019). The increase in the world population brings an increase in energy demand. Studies show that this increase in energy need has an annual acceleration of 2% (Zahid, Tahir, Khan, & Naeem, 2021). Developing countries account for 99% of this population growth, and this increase is observed as 50% in urban areas. While the share of global energy in cities was less than half of the energy produced in 1990, today, this rate constitutes two-thirds of the total energy. Fossil fuels are still used as the primary energy source in cities, and they constitute 70% of CO2 emissions, which is one of the causes of global warming. Air pollution in urban areas reaches significant levels. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 90% of those living in urban areas are exposed to levels of environmental pollution that exceed recommended limits. 90% of all urban areas are located on the coastline. Rising sea levels make some cities vulnerable to danger in developing countries. (Perea-Moreno et al., 2019)

Key Terms in this Chapter

TOPSIS: It is one of the techniques used to evaluate alternatives in decision-making. First, weight is determined for each criterion. Next, the score of each criterion is then normalized. Finally, the geometric distance between each alternative and the ideal alternative is calculated.

Bioenergy: It is one of the renewable energy types obtained from organic materials. It can be used in a wide range from transportation to electricity production.

Multi-Criteria Decision Making: It is a sub-discipline of operations research that can be used in a wide variety of sectors and used in decision-making processes by considering conflicting criteria in these sectors.

AHP: Developed by Thomas L. Saaty in 1970, it is an approach that uses a system based on mathematics and psychology in the complex decision-making process.

Biomass: It is the material obtained from plants and animals used to generate electricity or heat.

SWOT Analysis: It is a strategic planning and management technique. It helps individuals or institutions to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning.

PROMETHEE: It is a method used to make decisions based on mathematics and sociology developed in the early 1980s. This method points to the alternative that fits the understanding and goals of the decision-makers rather than the right decision.

Renewable Energy: It is an energy type. Its primary resources are renewable resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

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