Title: The impact of renewable energy systems on local sustainability

Authors: Caterina Brandoni; Barbara Marchetti; Gionanni Ciriachi; Fabio Polonara; Mariella Leporini

Addresses: Centre for Sustainable Technologies, School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim BT37 0QB, UK ' Engineering Faculty, Università degli studi e-Campus, via Isimbardi 10, 22060, Novedrate (COMO), Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Polytechnic University of Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60100, Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Polytechnic University of Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60100, Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Polytechnic University of Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60100, Ancona, Italy

Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to discuss and assess the impact of renewable energy, RE, generation on sustainable communities, with a specific focus on employment impact. In recent years, local authorities have been involved in the energy planning process due to the site-specific nature of renewable production and thanks to their nearer connection to citizens. Four small and medium-size sustainable communities belonging to Marche region, in central Italy, have been analysed. The work forecasts the employment generated by the RE capacity defined by two different energy scenarios: 1) the 'business as usual' scenario with a 20% CO2 emission reduction target by 2020, where all the energy policies suggested by Sustainable Energy Action Plans have been considered; 2) the 'potential' scenario with a 50% CO2 emission reduction target by 2050. Results show that the spreading of renewable energy, as expected, can increase local jobs, although the high investments required and problems connected to the impact on the grid have to be considered in the analysis of the global economic effect.

Keywords: renewable energy; energy scenarios; local energy planning; sustainable employment; energy efficiency; low carbon measures; local sustainability; sustainable development; sustainable communities; Italy; CO2; carbon dioxide; carbon emissions; emissions targets; investment requirements.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2016.076716

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2016 Vol.18 No.2/3, pp.385 - 402

Available online: 23 May 2016 *

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