What Are The Benefits of a Renewable Energy Project in a Rural Community?

There are many benefits to investing in a renewable energy (RE) project. Contrary to what many believe, there are significant economic benefits, such as:

  • Helping to keep more energy dollars in the community
  • Creating jobs
  • Adding new technical skills to the community‚Äôs skill base, from financial management to renewable energy technology expertise
  • Reducing the dependence on fossil and / or foreign fuels, enabling budgetary savings
  • Helping to match energy generation to customer load demands
  • Creating a direct connection between generation and consumption, contributing to an energy conservation culture
  • Many RE technologies depend on uncomplicated repair and maintenance skills, rather than very expensive highly trained, specialist technicians and engineers
  • Producing power when it is in highest demand, eliminating the financial and opportunity costs of wastage

Economic benefits often result in many social benefits. In general, these might be greater community cohesiveness and togetherness, but can also include:

  • Providing for local participation and capacity building in local communities
  • Fewer social and domestic issues due to better employment opportunities
  • Creating greater acceptance of new renewable energy technologies
  • Offering skills training with work based in rural communities where it is needed
  • Creating long term, high quality jobs and skills
  • Becoming a symbol of the community and a source of pride and identity

The greatest benefits of RE, though, are the environmental ones. These include:

  • Helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and potential climate change impacts
  • Helping to reduce pollution and all the health issues it causes
  • Helping to reduce transmission losses in grid-connected communities
  • Increasing community awareness of traditional energy production techniques and their impacts
  • Greater awareness of energy conservation and its many benefits
  • Eliminating complex waste problems
  • Reducing the amount of water needed to energy generation operations