Land and rural areas of Denmark faces many challenges. There is a sharp transition going on towards centralization, leading to increasing urbanization and bigger economic and social differences between the cities and the countryside. Rural areas have been suffering from exodus and aging population. Local authorities shut schools, shops close and many households and buildings are abandoned and fall apart. At the same time, every seven Dane expresses the will to live in the country. This is three times more than currently (YouGov for Momentum / KL, 2013).
Rural areas in Denmark have an overriding need for (creation of) jobs to retain and attract human settlement ‒here SMEs and renewable energy could play a crucial role. At the same time, municipalities and trade associations express the need for qualified labor.
SMEs represent the backbone of the Danish business sector. This applies especially in peripheral and rural municipalities where they have particular importance for employment. Approximately 95% of all Danish companies have nine or fewer employees.
Denmark must meet international climate targets and plans to fully replace fossil fuels with renewable energy by 2050. The transition to renewable energy involves investments of several billion crowns, creating plentiful business and development opportunities. Rural areas could (and should) benefit from these given that they possess most of the renewable energy resources ‒wind, sun and biomass‒ of the country. With appropriate technologies, framework conditions and skills, renewable energies will lead to new revenues and entrepreneurship in rural areas.
To increase employment in rural areas by providing SMEs support with regards to renewable energy and energy savings.