The purpose of the paper is to discuss and assess the impact of renewable energy, RE, generation on sustainable communities, with a specific focus on employment impact. In recent years, local authorities have been involved in the energy planning process due to the site-specific nature of renewable production and thanks to their nearer connection to citizens. Four small and medium-size sustainable communities belonging to Marche region, in central Italy, have been analysed. The work forecasts the employment generated by the RE capacity defined by two different energy scenarios: 1) the 'business as usual' scenario with a 20% CO2 emission reduction target by 2020, where all the energy policies suggested by Sustainable Energy Action Plans have been considered; 2) the 'potential' scenario with a 50% CO2 emission reduction target by 2050. Results show that the spreading of renewable energy, as expected, can increase local jobs, although the high investments required and problems connected to the impact on the grid have to be considered in the analysis of the global economic effect.
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