Suitability analysis of PV solar power plant sites in Gandaki province: Application of GIS and Remote sensing


  • Anish Bhandari Department of Geomatics Engineering, IOE, Pashchimanchal Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
  • Til Prasad Pangali Sharma Nepal Open University, Nepal



GIS, MCDM, Photovoltaic, Remote sensing, Solar Plant, Spatial analysis


The escalating global demand for energy has triggered a shift towards cleaner alternatives due to mounting environmental concerns. Emerging as a viable substitute, solar power has gained prominence as fossil fuels' adverse impact becomes evident. Historically reliant on hydropower, Nepal is exploring alternative energy sources to mitigate seasonal output variations. Despite abundant renewable resources like biomass, wind, and solar energy, Nepal's energy sector faces funding and technical expertise challenges. Solar energy presents significant promise as a primary renewable source in Nepal, boasting ample sunlight due to its location. However, the current solar capacity remains limited at around 54.6 MW, comprising less than 2.5% of the total installed capacity. The critical factor is the identification of suitable sites for solar power plants. Geographical Information System (GIS) and Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) methods have been employed for suitability analysis. This study employs the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a robust MCDM technique, to assess site suitability. The research is carried out in the Gandaki province, Nepal, encompassing the Himalayan, Hilly, and Terai regions. Criteria like solar radiation, slope, aspect, land use/land cover, proximity to roads, and substations are considered. These criteria are reclassified into suitability categories based on expert opinions and guidelines.  The results indicate areas highly suitable for solar power generation, covering 12.40 km2 (5.64% of the study area), followed by regions least suitable, spanning 7681 km2 (34.93% of the province's area). This research contributes to the effective deployment of solar power by identifying optimal locations for solar power plant construction, thus advancing Nepal's renewable energy goals.


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How to Cite

Bhandari, A., & Pangali Sharma, T. P. (2023). Suitability analysis of PV solar power plant sites in Gandaki province: Application of GIS and Remote sensing. Journal of Engineering and Sciences, 2(1), 64–69.