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The effects of a new carbon-free, decentralised and digitalised energy supply structure on jobs and regional economies (own initiative opinion)

EESC opinion: The effects of a new carbon-free, decentralised and digitalised energy supply structure on jobs and regional economies (own initiative opinion)

Key points:

  • The key message of the opinion is that transforming the energy system towards carbon-free, decentralised and digitalised supply offers enormous opportunities, in particular for structurally weak and rural regions in Europe. The development of renewable energy (RE) can have a major and beneficial impact on employment, and can be configured so as to provide a completely new stimulus for the regional economy. There is therefore potential for mutually reinforcing the positive effects of Europe's energy and cohesion policies. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) finds it regrettable that both the Commission and the Member States have yet to properly recognise this potential, let alone exploit it.
  • The EESC recommends that, in the context of "plans for regional energy circular economies", analysis should be carried out that is capable of providing a differentiated assessment of RE's potential for each regional economy. Plans for regional energy circular economies could form the basis of a structured and nuanced dialogue with local people which is important (a) for maintaining or establishing local approval for RE and (b) strengthening regional centres of economic activity.