Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 69, 1 March 2017,
In the current era of sustainable development, energy planning has become complex due to the involvement of multiple benchmarks like technical, social, economic and environmental. This in turn puts major constraints for decision makers to optimize energy alternatives independently and discretely especially in case of rural communities. In addition, topographical limitations concerning renewable energy systems which are mostly distributed in nature, the energy planning becomes more complicated. In such cases, decision analysis plays a vital role for designing such systems by considering various criteria and objectives even at disintegrated levels of electrification. Multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) is a branch of operational research dealing with finding optimal results in complex scenarios including various indicators, conflicting objectives and criteria. This tool is becoming popular in the field of energy planning due to the flexibility it provides to the decision makers to take decisions while considering all the criteria and objectives simultaneously. This article develops an insight into various MCDM techniques, progress made by considering renewable energy applications over MCDM methods and future prospects in this area. An extensive review in the sphere of sustainable energy has been performed by utilizing MCDM technique.