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Renewable Energy and Community Development

Oscar Zapata

No tk59y, OSF Preprints from Center for Open Science

Abstract: Energy transitions in Indigenous, Northern and remote communities in Canada promise benefits that go beyond reliable, clean and affordable energy services. The Federal and Provincial governments have committed funding to get remote communities off diesel, acknowledging energy transitions’ global and local benefits. Besides climate change mitigation, other benefits, including job creation, income generation, community ownership and local economic growth, are fundamental components of the value proposition of renewable energy projects. However, despite the promises, little evidence on the impacts of renewable energy on communities’ local conditions exists. This article looks at the relationship between renewable energy projects and community wellbeing in Canada. We construct a panel of Indigenous community wellbeing with Census data and information about renewable energy projects for the period 1981 – 2016, and find that renewable energy is associated with higher levels of wellbeing. Concretely, having access to renewable energy increases overall wellbeing by 1 to 5 points on the 0-100 wellbeing scale, depending on the component of the wellbeing index considered in the analysis.

Date: 2022-11-22
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env and nep-ppm
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DOI: 10.31219/

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