Impact of renewables in rural areas: The case of wind power in a North-Eastern region of Spain
An increase of renewables is needed to mitigate climate change. However, social movements from several of the locations, usually rural areas (heavily depopulated, etc.), where the plants are installed claim that negative effects prevail whilst promoters of these projects assert the opposite. The aim of this paper is to analyze the impacts of the implementation of renewable plants at the locations where they are installed. Specifically, we analyze the effects of the implementation of windmills in the Northeast of Spain. To see the economic effects, we use several quantitative and qualitative approaches, including input-output (IO) tools to see the different spatial and temporal effects from the investments made on income and employment. The trade-offs of the installation of renewables (especially wind and solar) include the reduction of emissions, potentially creation of jobs and other income, while on the contrary having effects on the territory e.g. through biodiversity and landscape losses.