Page 14 - European Energy Innovation magazine - autumn 2022 edition
P. 14

Autumn 2022 European Energy Innovation
               14    COMMUNICATION

            Powering GREEN Energy

            Transition in Mediterranian rural

            communities through social

            and territorial innovation

                   nergy transition alredy mark   Despite the fact that urban areas are   populations due to lower incomes
                   the political agenda in the UE   the most densely populated, rural   and higher poverty rates, combined
                   Members States, not only by   areas represent more extension of   with lower educational and
             Ethe commitments achieved,      European  territory than urban areas.   employment opportunities and
            but also by the urgency of Climate   In the case of the MED area, this is   an aging population increase the
            Change hazards.                  not the exception, an important part   vulnerability of rural communities.
                                             of the territory of Portugal, Spain,   Declining public and private services
            The Mediterranean region is      France, Italy or Greece is considered   in rural areas and remoteness and
            particularly vulnerable to climate   as rural typology of regions (Eurostat   limited access also means higher car
            change, being one of the world’s   2021).                         dependency. Consequently, some
            most rapidly warming regions (rise                                rural regions will likely experience
            of temperatures, sea level rise and   Rural regions are diverse and highly   employment losses and shifts, which
            scarcity of water and resources).   influenced by their specific natural   need to be compensated. Ensuring
            Environmental degradation and    endowments. Their development path   an energy transition requires
            overexploitation of natural resources   is different from urban areas. Rural   measures, tools  to alleviate
            poses additional challenges for the   regions are often characterised by a   negative consequences and help
            regional development. Energy supply   lower population and development   firms, employees and regions to
            is one of the priorities for Europe   density, as well as a high proportion   reorient.
            and Mediterranen regions , and most   of natural assets and agricultural
            of the efforts should be oriented on   land .                     The Interreg MED Renewable
            renewables as the principal energy                                Energy project  brings new ideas
            source option to support.  The   Rural areas face unique transition   and initiatives for energy transition
            communities and institutions of the   challenges, highlighting the   not only at scientific field but also for
            Mediterranean countries are now at   importance of a just transition.   economy and social development.
            a crossroad to turn this challenging   Physical isolation, limited economic   The aim of the project is to boost
            situation into an opportunity.   diversity, high rates of vulnerable   and mainstream the green energy

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