A review of multi-criteria decision-making methods for bioenergy systems

James A. Scott, William Ho, Prasanta K. Dey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bioenergy schemes are multi-faceted and complex by nature, with many available raw material supplies and technical options and a diverse set of stakeholders holding a raft of conflicting opinions. To develop and operate a successful scheme there are many requirements that should be considered and satisfied. This paper provides a review of those academic works attempting to deal with problems arising within the bioenergy sector using multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods. These methods are particularly suitable to bioenergy given its multi-faceted nature but could be equally relevant to other energy conversion technologies. Related articles appearing in the international journals from 2000 to 2010 are gathered and analysed so that the following two questions can be answered. (i) Which methods are the most popular? (ii) Which problems attract the most attention? The review finds that optimisation methods are most popular with methods choosing between few alternatives being used in 44% of reviewed papers and methods choosing between many alternatives being used in 28%. The most popular application area was to technology selection with 27% of reviewed papers followed by policy decisions with 18%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-156
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Event8th World Energy System Conference - Targoviste, Romania
Duration: 1 Jul 20103 Jul 2010


  • bioenergy
  • multi-criteria
  • multi-attribute
  • decision making


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