Biogas plants in rural areas: the next step of progress or a landscape dilemma?

Authors: Justyna Chodkowska-Miszczuk*, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Jadwiga Biegańska, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Daniela Szymańska, Nicolaus Copernicus University
Topics: Energy, Economic Geography, Europe
Keywords: biogas plants, local landscape, rural areas
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Bacchus, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The emergence of new energy companies in rural areas – biogas plants – generates transformations in the local environment. On the one hand, biogas plants are based on local resources. On the other hand, they are new economic entities which transform the rural landscape. Thus, the enormous opportunity for transformation of energy sector and strengthening of the socio-economic development of rural areas, especially those requiring intervention – such as in Central Europe – are simultaneously creating many challenges. These challenges are primarily related to their functioning in the local environment. Consequently, there is certainly a need to analyse whether and how AD plants interact with other local entities. These relations have an impact on the perception and acceptance of these enterprises. The fact of significant importance is that AD plants appear both within existing agricultural farms and as separate entities. Such different local conditions of economic activity influence on established relations and functioning of biogas plants. Therefore, in order to achieve the objective of our research, comparative studies have been carried. It is assumed that AD plants operating within the agricultural farms are perceived by the local community as its integral part or the next stage of their progress. AD plants created as separate spatial and organisational units, often as a result of external investment, are perceived by rural residents as interfering with the local landscape. The research has been supported by the National Science Centre, Poland, Project no. 2016/21/D/HS4/00714: Biogas enterprises from the perspective of the embeddedness concept.

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