GIS methodology and case study regarding assessment of the solar potential at territorial level: PV or thermal?

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Loïc Quiquerez
Jérôme Faessler
Bernard Marie Lachal
Floriane Mermoud
Pierre Hollmuller


This paper presents a GIS-based methodology for assessing solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal potentials in urban environment. The consideration of spatial and temporal dimensions of energy resource and demand allows, for two different territories of the Geneva region, to determine the suitable building roof areas for solar installations, the solar irradiance on these areas and, finally, the electrical and/or thermal energy potentials related to the demand. Results show that the choice of combining PV and solar thermal for domestic hot water (DHW) is relevant in both territories. Actually, the installation of properly sized solar thermal collectors doesn’t decrease much the solar PV potential, while allowing significant thermal production. However, solar collectors for combined DHW and space heating (SH) require a much larger surface and, therefore, have a more important influence on the PV potential. 

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