The large-scale (more than 25MW) development of wind energy seems to be a very promising option given climate change and the need to diversify sources of energy. However, in Quebec, Canada, this fast growing field is raising the concern and apprehension of the population for various reasons, the first one being the protection of Quebec's rural landscape, an important tourism resource. Transparency and participation in the decision-making process are the two major requests of local stakeholders regarding the installation of wind farms. Hence, two methods are essential to address these demands: Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Several scholars working in different fields, including the wind sector, have used the MCDA-GIS coupling. Therefore, we developed an approach that use both methods specifically in the context of large-scale wind energy projects. We emphasize how such a approach can be used in the analysis of different scenarios and consider the opinions and attitudes of all stakeholders in order to choose the "best" one based on a participative, transparent decision making process.
Published December 2012 , 24 pages