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Barriers and Drivers of Renewable Energy Penetration in Rural Areas

The paper deals with the exposition of the main barriers and drivers of renewable energy usage in rural communities. Climate change mitigation is causing governments, policymakers, and international organizations worldwide to embark on policies, leading to increased use of renewable energy sources and improvement of energy efficiency. Climate change mitigation actions, including the Green Deal strategy in the EU, require satisfying the expanding energy demand and complying with the environmental restrictions. At the same time, the prevailing market structure and infrastructure relevant to the energy systems are undergoing a crucial transformation. Specifically, there has been a shift from centralized to more decentralized and interactive energy systems that are accompanied by a low-carbon energy transition. Smart Grid technology and other innovations in the area of renewable energy microgeneration technologies have enabled changes in terms of the roles of energy users: they can act as prosumers that are producing and consuming energy at the same time. Renewable energy generation that is allowing for deeper involvement of the citizens may render higher social acceptance, which, in turn, fuels the low-carbon energy transition. The collective energy prosumption in the form of energy cooperatives has become a widespread form of renewable energy initiatives in rural communities. Even though renewable energy consumption provides a lot of benefits and opportunities for rural communities, the fast penetration of renewables and energy prosumption encounter several important barriers in the rural areas. This paper analyses the main barriers and drivers of renewable energy initiatives in rural areas and provides policy implications for the low-carbon energy transition in rural areas. 
Keywords: renewable energy; energy cooperatives; rural areas; agriculture; energy prosumers; barriers; drivers; success factors; policies.
Streimikiene, D.; Baležentis, T.; Volkov, A.; Morkūnas, M.; Žičkienė, A.; Streimikis, J. 2021. Barriers and Drivers of Renewable Energy Penetration in Rural Areas. Energies14, 6452; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14206452; [Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Science); Scopus; Inspec; CABI (abstracts); RePec].


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