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.

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