Myth : Nobody wants to live in rural areasRural depopulation is largely a thing of the past. In France, for example, the number of people living in rural areas grew three times more than the urban equivalent. Almost one third of Danes and over 80% of the Dutch dream of living in the country
2016 FREE report on ‘Why Rural Energy Matters’
The study, developed by Ecuity Economics and published the FREE initiative, estimates that the potential for rural-remote emissions savings in the EU heating and cooling sector could be as much as 100 Mt (million tonnes) of CO2 by 2030 compared to business as usual scenario. This report reveals the importance of these often overlooked areas in working toward Europe’s climate goals.
The ‘White Paper’ outlines current policy challenges related to the development of clean energy in rural regions and presents a set of policy recommendations with regards to energy efficiency, air quality, fuel poverty and CO2 emissions in rural areas.
Rural Energy In Europe
A sustainable energy future for the European Union is important for all its citizens. Some areas within Europe are still deprived of access to a secure supply of clean and affordable energy. Gas and electricity networks are less well developed in rural areas and so the choice of fuels is more limited. Yet, there is a target to be reached – reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 20% by 2020 - and these rural areas have a significant role to play in reaching this.
The report presents demand patterns for energy used by consumers in rural, intermediate, and urban areas. We also provide an insight into the way lower economic activity in rural areas plays a role in energy demand patterns. The study shows how differences in the fuels used in certain areas can lead to varying greenhouse gas emission levels. Differences in the fuel mix will also have an economic effect because of different fuel prices, although detailed consideration of this effect was outside the scope of this study.
Here you can see examples of the future of rural energy in action. This section will be updated regularly, so please subscribe to our RSS feed if you would like to be kept up to date.
- Energy Efficiency- Hadyard Hill Community Energy Project, Scotland, UK
The Hadyard Hill Community Energy Project, led by the Energy Agency in partnership with South Ayrshire Council on behalf of Scottish and Southern Energy, was established to reduce energy demand, decrease fuel poverty and obtain maximum community benefits.
- Cogeneration - Combined Heat and Power on micro-level
Nursing home in Ireland goes sustainable
- Renewable Energy - Westmills Wind Farm
Westmills is the first 100% community owned wind energy project in the south of England and provides for the needs of around 2500 homes.
- Energy Efficiency – Glazing Solutions in Sustainable Building Designs
Vienna-based architect, Georg R. Reinberg, demonstrates the effectiveness of energy efficient glazing solutions in his sustainable building designs.
- First European Quality of Life Survey: Urban-rural differences, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2006
- Rural Development Report 2009, European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Development
- Social capital and job creation in rural Europe, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2007
- Policy Vision for Sustainable Rural Economies in an Enlarged Europe, Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung, ARL and Délégation à l’Aménagement du Territoire et à l’Action Régionale, 2003
- Trends to 2030 – European Energy and Transport, DG TREN, European Commission, 2007
- Le Mode de Chauffage des Maisons Individuelles, Commissariat Général au Développement Durable, September 2009
- Rural Services Network – Towards a Rural Manifesto, July 2009
- Rural areas: facing challenges and providing solutions, European Countryside Movement newsletter, December 2009.