It is now widely acknowledged that almost all human activity is seriously dependent on energy produced from fossil fuels. Energy consumption is one of the most reliable indicators of the development and quality of life of a country and the need to satisfy the demand for energy over a certain time period is the basis of energy planning. The increasing demand for energy and the expected shortage in the long term solicit new strategies to fill the widening demand-supply gap. The European Commission intends to implement these strategies in a context where both environmental and social goals are considered. It is recognized that a sustainable strategy must be addressed to achieve, first of all, the following goals: guarantee the security of the energy market; minimize the environmental impact; avoid the social consequences of energy shortage; improve the quality of life in rural areas and encourage diversification of the rural economy. In recent years the RES based on agricultural production has rendered agriculture multifunctional in the context of the EU Agricultural Policy. In this view, awareness of the multifunctional character of agriculture can act as a useful means for identifying the importance of social, environmental and economic functions, and define the best balance between them. Bioenergy production, as a function of multifunctional agriculture, can be used so as to reduce to the minimum the impact on the environment; it can also, in rural or in developing areas, enhance employment and contribute to improving this balance.


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