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ERIC Number: EJ989646
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
Wood Energy Production, Sustainable Farming Livelihood and Multifunctionality in Finland
Huttunen, Suvi
Journal of Rural Studies, v28 n4 p549-558 Oct 2012
Climate change and the projected depletion of fossil energy resources pose multiple global challenges. Innovative technologies offer interesting possibilities to achieve more sustainable outcomes in the energy production sector. Local, decentralized alternatives have the potential to sustain livelihoods in rural areas. One example of such a venture has emerged around heating businesses in rural Finland, and is referred to as heat entrepreneurship. Heat entrepreneurship entails a system where a local forest owner, usually a farmer, provides heat to a small community or local building, such as a school. Heat is produced using local forest resources that would otherwise be unutilized. The purpose of this study is to examine heat entrepreneurship as a potential sustainable alternative for energy production and its multifunctionality. The data was collected by interviewing 15 heat entrepreneurs in the area of Central Finland. The study demonstrates how multifunctional farming-related energy production can provide more sustainable livelihoods for farmers by increasing social, economic and environmental sustainability. This is achieved by diversifying farmers' economic options, enhancing rural areas economically, increasing farmers' social networks and well-being and, to some extent, by boosting local environmental capital. However, the study also points to differences among the farmers and sustainability trade-offs, suggesting for the need to better acknowledge the local perceptions in policy-making. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland