Renewable energies as tools for rural development
Keywords:renewable energy, rural development, family farmers
From the beginning of the 2000s, Uruguay is systematically working on Renewable Energies (RE), with concrete policies for the development of the re sector, with short, medium, and long-term clear objectives. At this stage, and under different recently passed laws, the development of the sector has been driven through large investments by private and state enterprises, leaving aside the development of small local experiences that pursue the objectives set out by law. Based on a sample of 60 family farmers from the south, this study collected information on the main sources of energy used at households and farms, the energy cost, among other parameters. Also, the study reports farmers' opinions about different aspects related to the concept of renewable energy. Results show that electricity is the main energy source used for households, and fossil fuel for farming. Most respondents believe that the cost of energy linked to the production process is high. A significant percentage considers that RE sources may be an option for rural development. In addition, respondents believe that there should be a State policy that ensures small producers' access to re, and suggest the implementation of a proposal with this goal.
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