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Assessing the performance of biogas plants with multi-criteria and data envelopment analysis

Reinhard Madlener (), Carlos Henggeler Antunes and Luis Dias

European Journal of Operational Research, 2009, vol. 197, issue 3, 1084-1094

Abstract: This paper performs an assessment of 41 agricultural biogas plants located in Austria to determine their relative performance in terms of economic, environmental, and social criteria and corresponding indicators. The comparison of these renewable energy conversion plants is based on two complementary analyses. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) was conducted to provide measures of radial efficiency relative to the observed frontier of production possibilities. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA), using the IRIS/ELECTRE TRI methodology, was conducted to obtain a different perspective on the results, and as a tool that would enable to incorporate managerial preferences easily. To be able to use IRIS while keeping the spirit behind DEA, the evaluation criteria were defined as different output/input efficiency ratios, and no information about criteria weights was introduced at the outset. The results suggest that MCDA, and the use of IRIS in particular, constitutes a useful approach that can be applied in a complementary way to DEA.

Keywords: Multi-criteria; decision; analysis; DEA; Renewable; energy; Biogas; ELECTRE; TRI (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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