In a recent OECD blog, authors Lisanne Raderschall and Andres Sanabria, discuss the potential of rural areas in producing renewable energy. With the current context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, there is an increasing pressure and urgency to secure other sources of energy.
The authors present rural regions as being the primary beneficiaries of accelerated investments in renewable energy, as they contain the vast majority of the land, water and other natural resources. According to the OECD, already today rural regions produce 63% of renewable energy, with the majority of this (36%) coming from the most remote places.
In addition, authors explain, there are additional benefits for rural areas. Investments in renewable energy projects can create new economic opportunities in rural areas, including new jobs in the operation and maintenance of machinery. Across the OECD, there are many examples of ways in which rural communities are seizing the initiative to maximise the local benefits.
Overall, say the authors, there is a clear need to make the most of renewable energy investment for the benefit of rural communities. Through its Rural Agenda for Climate Action the OECD supports rural regions in managing the urgent energy transitions to their benefit.