Regional socio-economic impacts of decentralised bioeconomy: a case of Suutela wooden village, Finland
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- Lehtonen, O. & Okkonen, L. Environ Dev Sustain (2013) 15: 245. doi:10.1007/s10668-012-9372-6
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The regional bioeconomy has a high importance for generating socio-economic impacts, especially in sparsely populated resource peripheries. The benefits include increased employment and income and improved security of supply. In this study, the modified regional input–output model is applied for analysing the socio-economic impacts of Suutela wooden village construction in North Karelia, Finland. The main objective of this article is to provide an illustrative example on the regional input–output modelling, applied to the investigation of the socio-economic impacts of a conventional, decentralised bioeconomy. Based on this Finnish case of a wooden village with bioenergy district heating, we demonstrate both the employment and income potentials of a decentralised bioeconomy. The results indicate good socio-economic potential of local wood construction, resulting in about 250 personnel working years and a total economic impact of 43.7 million euros on the regional economy. To maintain the sensitivity of the input–output modelling, it is considered more suitable for overall regional impact estimations, rather than pointing out differences between the subsystems. When modified for research purposes, the regional input–output model is well capable to efficiently describe the socio-economic impacts and providing information for local decision-makers to support new projects of a bioeconomy.