The scope of this research is to make quantitative estimates of the potential economic and employment impacts of renewable energy self-sufficiency. The study aims to make generalizations on a regional, or even national level, and to give directions for future research. This paper analyses direct monetary values and employment impacts in two regions, in a theoretical situation where all energy is produced by renewables from the respective region.
Renewable energy, especially utilization of existing but presently unused resources, can play an important role in vitalizing regional economies, especially in rural areas. The money spent on fossil energy could be kept circulating in the regional economy. The amount spent on energy in the research areas was almost €4,860 per capita per year, totalling more than €300m annually. The existing data shows that there is the potential for self-sufficiency, or even surplus production. The results suggest that the regional economic impacts increase considerably if the region is self-sufficient in raw materials, including intermediates. On a larger scale, e.g., nationally, the loss of jobs in the fossil energy industry and the eventual variations within economies potentially based on renewable energy, will affect the overall impacts.
There is at present insufficient scientific literature, knowledge or quantitative data for analysing these impacts thoroughly. This paper contributes to filling this gap.