University of Oulu

Piippo, S.; Pongrácz, E. Sustainable Energy Solutions for Rural Communities. Proceedings 2020, 58, 12.

Sustainable energy solutions for rural communities

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Author: Piippo, Sari1; Pongrácz, Eva1
Organizations: 1Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, PO Box 4300, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020
Publish Date: 2022-03-24


The Renewable Community Empowerment in Northern Territories (RECENT) project intended to enhance the utilization of unused assets in remote and sparsely populated areas and communities. The objectives were to enhance energy efficiency, implement renewable energy solutions and help communities to have more resilient and energy efficient public infrastructures capable of handling climate change related risks. The nexus approach was used to promote the efficient management of resources, i.e., water, waste and energy, while considering the interdependencies between them. The project developed 25 pilots related to energy, energy efficiency, waste, and water solutions across five Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) partner regions (Finland, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Scotland). The project assessed energy generation and reduction potential; investment costs and payback times of the pilots. A sustainability assessment tool was also developed, to assess the environmental, social and long-term sustainability of the pilots. The combined benefit of the 25 pilots was 20 GWh/year renewable energy and saving 6070 t of CO₂/year. The sustainability assessment also highlighted the social benefits to the community. The project established opportunities for new ways of providing environmental goods and services and supporting innovative infrastructures based on the nexus approach of water-energy-waste-land resources. These innovative infrastructures would be based on decentralized systems which allow for synergies between different assets. These synergistic solutions can contribute significantly to the reduction of resource consumption and related emissions and to the sustainable development of European communities.

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Series: Proceedings
ISSN: 2504-3900
ISSN-E: 2504-3900
ISSN-L: 2504-3900
Volume: 58
Article number: 12
DOI: 10.3390/WEF-06910
Host publication: Proceedings. The First World Energies Forum—Current and Future Energy Issues. 14 Sept-5 Oct 2020
Conference: World Energies Forum
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: We thank NPA for funding.
Copyright information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Sw itzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (