Potential of geothermal energy resources exploitation using hierarchical decision making method

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Petroleum Engineering, Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Geology, Zahedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zahedan, Iran


Decision-making in energy planning must take into account several aspects due to the increasing complexity of social, technological and economic factors. Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a multi criterion decision making technique and gin that, the problems are decomposed into a hierarchically structure and are given the weights according to its importance. The output is a priority ranking indicating the overall preference for each decision alternative. This paper describes the application of AHP to select a geothermal prospect in Iran country to be developed in the future. Three major criteria are used and applied into those three prospects: geosciences, infrastructure, and social-culture aspects. The benefits of using AHP are (1) the facts and reasons behind the decision are well documented, (2) able to handle quantitative and qualitative inputs, and (3) able to accommodate environmental and social aspect. Based on the participation of experts, 3 criteria and 20 sub criteria were defined. The results showed that the most relevant criteria were the geology 68.3%, technical 18.8% and social economic 12.9%.