- Composition of the study group
- Administrator / Assistant in charge: Arturo Iniguez Yuste / Anna Khatchatrian
Rural areas can make a major contribution to reducing reliance on fossil fuels by linking the introduction of renewable energy systems to rural development programmes. There is a huge untapped potential for the establishment of small-scale biomass projects (forest and crop residues, animal slurry, etc.) for the production of heating and electricity in farms with smart meter connections. Wind turbines and solar panels serving local areas can sell any surplus to the national grid. Replacing diesel to power agricultural machinery may be a major challenge, but it is necessary to explore the possibilities of using locally-produced biofuels.
A Digital Rural Act is indispensable to deliver on the promises of Europe's "Digital Decade" besides the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act. The idea behind the DRA is to map the existing landscape of policy support, identifying the opportunities and needs of rural areas to use digitalisation. The DRA must combine three pillars/components that need to be addressed together, as they reinforce each other:
- Broadband infrastructure
- Digital skills
- Promoting the uptake of digital services