Lebanon Solar Rooftop Potential Assessment Using Buildings Segmentation From Aerial Images


Estimating solar rooftop potential at a national level is a fundamental building block for every country to utilize solar power efficiently. Solar rooftop potential assessment relies on several features such as building geometry, location, and surrounding facilities. Hence, national-level approximations that do not take these factors into deep consideration are often inaccurate. This paper introduces Lebanon’s first comprehensive footprint and solar rooftop potential maps using deep learning-based instance segmentation to extract buildings’ footprints from satellite images. A photovoltaic panels placement algorithm that considers the morphology of each roof is proposed. We show that the average rooftop’s solar potential can fulfill the yearly electric needs of a single-family residence while using only 5% of the roof surface. The usage of 50% of a residential apartment rooftop area would achieve energy security for up to 8 households. We also compute the average and total solar rooftop potential per district to localize regions corresponding to the highest and lowest solar rooftop potential yield. Factors such as size, ground coverage ratio and PV_out are carefully investigated for each district. Baalbeck district yielded the highest total solar rooftop potential despite its low built-up area. While, Beirut capital city has the highest average solar rooftop potential due to its extremely populated urban nature. Reported results and analysis reveal solar rooftop potential urban patterns and provides policymakers and key stakeholders with tangible insights. Lebanon’s total solar rooftop potential is about 28.1 TWh/year, two times larger than the national energy consumption in 2019.

IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing

Publication Metrics