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Energy cost reduction creates additional socioeconomic benefits– The case of Eno Energy Cooperative, Finland

Olli Lehtonen and Lasse Okkonen

Energy Policy, 2019, vol. 129, issue C, 352-359

Abstract: The biomass-based heat entrepreneurships and heating cost reductions can generate long-term socioeconomic benefits on a local and regional economy. This analysis focuses on a small community, called Eno, located in predominantly rural region of North Karelia and demonstrate previously unknown socioeconomic impacts of energy cost reduction. We ask in this paper what type of long-term income and employment impacts heat entrepreneurship has from start-up to growth and maturity production stages. According to the socio-economic impact analyses, the total employment impacts of the Eno Energy Cooperative in 2000–2015 were approximately 160 FTE's and the total income impact in the same period was about 6.7 million euros. Results proved that besides to traditional socioeconomic impacts, the energy cost savings, and their induced impacts, can increase and even double the development benefits of bioenergy utilization. Previously known direct, indirect, and induced impacts of the investments and production are only a part of the socioeconomic impact of bioenergy production. These impacts are often analysed without understanding the profitability of bioenergy systems, and public and private benefits of reduced energy costs. This paper concludes with generic discussion on socio-economic impacts of bioenergy, which can be utilised in local policy advocacy.

Keywords: Socioeconomic impacts; Input-output modelling; Heat entrepreneurship; Eno Energy Cooperative (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:129:y:2019:i:c:p:352-359