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Abstract

The limitations in electrical energy consumption in summer 2015 highlighted the need to support alternative energy sources in rural areas. Their use could have been supported throughout the country; however, only rural areas have rich supplies of biomass, the most accessible renewable energy source (uninfl uenced by weather conditions). The paper’s aim was to analyse major objectives and thematic areas of 60 local development strategies from the Małopolskie and Podkarpackie voivodeships. The assessment was conducted with respect to the strategic goals directed towards the use of renewable energy sources in rural areas. The investigated strategies, prepared by local action groups (LAG), covered the period of 2007–2013. The organizations were also examined in the research regarding their 2014–2020 development plans by means of an online survey. Renewable energy sources (RES) were included in detailed objectives or thematic fi elds in 50% of the examined 2007–2013 strategies. None of the major objectives of the investigated strategies touched upon renewable energy. Rural areas have the potential to increase their energy security; however, it requires adequate strategy and funds. Financial support for RES investment should be higher in those cases where biomass and fl owing waters can be used. The organizations subject to the analysis put too little priority on the use of biomass and its local processing, allocating fi nancial resources to solar thermal collectors and photovoltaics.

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