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Ali Mostafaeipour, Ghasem Ghorbannia Ganji, Hasan Hosseini-Nasab, Ahmad Sadegheih,
Volume 34, Issue 4 (IJIEPR 2023)

Compared to coal and other fossil fuels, renewable energy (RE) sources emit significantly less carbon dioxide (CO2). In this sense, switching to such sources brings many positive effects to the environment through mitigating climate change, so the terms green energy and clean energy, have been derived from these constructive environmental impacts. Given the utmost importance of RE development, the primary objective of this study was to identify and prioritize the effective RE development strategies in Mazandaran Province, Iran, using different methods, including the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, along with other decision-making techniques. Recruiting a team of 11 industrial and academic experts, the strategies to implement in this region were developed in line with the RE development plans. For this purpose, the Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) methodologies were utilized within the gray fuzzy environment to manage the existing uncertainties. The Gray-Additive Ratio Assessment System (Gray ARAS) was further applied to rank the main factors at each level. According to the SWOT analysis and the Stepwise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis (SWARA) outcomes, among the major factors shaping RE development in Mazandaran Province, Iran, the economic criterion, with the final weight of 0.24, was ranked first; and then the geographical and environmental criteria, having the final weights of 0.23 and 0.19, were put in the second and third places, respectively. In this regard, appropriate location, with the final weight of 0.226, was ranked first; and subsequently pollution reduction and energy production costs, receiving the final weights of 0.103 and 0.094, were the second and third sub-criteria, respectively. As a final point, the validation results based on the Gray-Weighted Aggregated Sum Product Assessment (Gray-WASPAS) and ranking obtained through the Gray-ARAS were confirmed.

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