An AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process)/ANP (Analytic Network Process)-based multi-criteria decision approach for the selection of solar-thermal power plant investment projects

Pablo Aragonés-Beltrán, Fidel Chaparro-González, Juan-Pascual Pastor-Ferrando, Andrea Pla-Rubio

In this paper the AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) and the ANP (Analytic Network Process) are applied to

help the managing board of an important Spanish solar power investment company to decide whether to

invest in a particular solar-thermal power plant project and, if so, to determine the order of priority of the

projects in the company’s portfolio.

Project management goes through a long process, from obtaining the required construction permits

and authorizations, negotiating with different stakeholders, complying with complex legal regulations,

to solving the technical problems associated with plant construction and distribution of the energy

generated. The whole process involves high engineering costs.

The decision approach proposed in this paper consists of three phases. In the first two phases, the

managing board must decide whether to accept or reject a project according to a set of criteria previously

identified by the technical team. The third phase consists of establishing a priority order among the

projects that have proven to be economically profitable based on project risk levels and execution time


This work analyzes the criteria that should be taken into account to accept or reject proposals for

investment, as well as the risks used to prioritize some projects over others.