The EU should be doing more to more to exploit the synergies between its policies on renewable energy sources and rural development, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors. The auditors examined the link between renewable energy and rural development. They concluded that while there were potential synergies, as yet these remained mostly unrealised.
Several EU and national funding programmes are available to incentivise the production and use of renewable energy, one EU source being the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). However, the auditors noted that the European Commission was unable to provide comprehensive up-to-date information on financial support for renewable energy, both overall and under the EAFRD.
“Funding for rural development can play a role in achieving the EU and national renewable energy targets, but rural areas should benefit where support for renewable energy has come from rural development funds,” said Samo Jereb, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report. “The European Commission has not provided sufficient clarification or guidance on this.”