ESPON ReRisk - Regions at Risk of Energy Poverty

ESPON releases the final report of the project ReRisk which focuses on opportunities to support competitive and clean energy supplies for regions in Europe and to generate and strengthen sustainable energy sources. It delivers future-oriented territorial evidence and scenarios on the impact of rising energy prices on the competitiveness of European regions as well as on cohesion in Europe in a long-term perspective.

Energy seems to keep the EU agenda busy this year. Hungary is planning to concentrate on the EU energy policy while it takes on the EU's rotating presidency and energy will be the core theme at the new presidency's first EU summit on 4 February 2011. Hence the ReRisk Report seems to be just in time to feed the current political discussions.

Political pressure to fight energy poverty is mounting, but policy initiatives in this field are hampered by the lack of basic data on the energy consumption in European regions. The ReRisk Report, produced by INNOBASQUE as Lead Partner and Nordregio together with National Technical University of Athens as Project Partners, tries to fill this gap by presenting findings on the implications of energy poverty for economic competitiveness and social cohesion in the regions of the European Union.

The Project clearly presents a unique approach by having an accent on the topic of energy use more than on energy production. It is the economic and transport structure, as well as the social situation and the climate conditions, which makes certain regions in Europe more vulnerable to energy poverty than others. The Report also shows that increasing prices for fossil fuels open up opportunities for the development of renewable energy resources and the creation of new sources of income and employment.

Read the Final Report, look at its maps and all background documents here.