A GIS Based 3D Online Decision Assistance System for Underground Energy Storage in Northern Germany

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Michael Nolde, Malte Schwanebeck, Ehsan Biniyaz and Rainer Duttmann, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
We would like to present a GIS-based 3D online decision assistance system for underground energy storage. Its aim is to support the local land use planning authorities through pre-selection of possible sites for thermal, electrical and substantial underground energy storages. Since the extension of renewable energies has become legal requirement in Germany, the underground storing of superfluously produced green energy (such as during a heavy wind event) in the form of compressed air, gas or heated water has become increasingly important. However, the selection of suitable sites is a complex task. The assistance system uses data of geological features such as rock layers, salt caverns and faults enriched with attribute data such as rock porosity and permeability. This information is combined with surface data of the existing energy infrastructure, such as locations of wind and biogas stations, power line arrangement and cable capacity, and energy distribution stations. Furthermore, legal obligations such as protected areas on the surface and current underground mining permissions are used for the decision finding process. Not only the current situation but also prospective scenarios, such as expected growth in produced amount of energy are incorporated in the system. The decision process is carried out via the 'Analytic Hierarchy Process' (AHP) methodology of the 'Multi Object Decision Making' (MODM) approach. While the process itself is completely automated, the user has full control of the weighting of the different factors via the web interface. The system is implemented as an online 3D server GIS environment, with no software needed to be installed on the user side. The results are visualized as interactive 3d graphics. The implementation of the assistance system is based exclusively on free and open source software, and utilizes the 'Python' programming language in combination with current web technologies, such as 'HTML5', 'CSS3' and 'JavaScript'. It is developed at Kiel University for the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany. This work is part of project 'ANGUS+', lead by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bauer and funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).