Estimation of Hong Kong’s solar energy potential using GIS and remote sensing technologies

Highlights

City-wide solar photovoltaic potential estimation in Hong Kong.

Areas of unused rooftops were mapped using very high resolution airborne Lidar data.

Analysis of spatial distribution of cloud cover using geostationary satellite images.

Abstract

This paper studies the use of Remote Sensing (RS) technologies and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for estimation of city-wide photovoltaic (PV) potential in Hong Kong. It investigates the spatial distribution of cloud coverage through geostationary satellites from the Multi-functional Transport Satellite (MTSAT). The results indicate that a non-prominent spatial variation of cloud cover presides over a majority of Hong Kong territories. Appropriate locations for deploying solar PV panels, such as rooftops, were delineated using RS, GIS, and existing ancillary data. Extraction and filtering of pixels based on a set of criterions were used to identify optimal PV rooftops. This study shows that the summarization of PV potentials in Hong Kong is 2.66 TWh on building rooftops. The methodologies and findings from this study permits detailed spatial estimation of city-wide solar energy potential, and assists the policy-decision process on the use of renewable energy in Hong Kong.

Keywords

  • Building rooftop;
  • Photovoltaic potential;
  • Satellite imagery;
  • Solar radiation

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