Full Title: Linking Renewable Energy to Rural Development
Author(s): Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Publisher(s): Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Publication Date: 01/2012
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Renewable energy (hereafter, RE) is being championed as a potentially significant new source of jobs and rural growth in OECD countries, and a means of addressing environmental and energy security concerns. In most countries, governments have invested large amounts of public money to support RE development and are requiring significant quantities of it to be sold by energy providers. But what are the economic impacts of these policies and investments? Can RE really help to develop rural economies? These are some of the questions explored by this report, which presents the results of a two-year study of the impact of RE on rural development. Drawing on case studies in 16 regions across Europe and North America, it finds that while RE indeed represents an opportunity for stimulating economic growth in hosting communities, it also requires a complex and flexible policy framework and a long-term strategy. RE is not going to create lot of jobs, but rather some additional employment opportunities in rural areas. Making a positive connection between RE development and local economic growth will require more coherent strategies, the right set of local conditions, and a place-based approach to deployment.