Large land areas in European countries can be considered marginal, underutilized, and contaminated (MUC). Many recent studies have shown that bioenergy crop cultivation can make this land profitable, creating new income opportunities for local citizens without interfering with food production. However, farmers, landowners, and local communities must become more familiar with bioenergy systems, potential value chains, and markets. This paper aims to present the results of stakeholder consultations implemented in two case study areas in Italy, i.e., Basilicata and Sardinia, about the possible establishment of bioenergy systems in the MUC land available at the local level. Stakeholders' perceptions were collected through interviews conducted on a one-to-one basis and through multi-stakeholder working group meetings organized in the context of BIOPLAT-EU, an H2020 project aimed at promoting the efficacy and profitability of using MUC land for sustainable bioenergy production. By and large, the findings of the consultations indicate that local stakeholders are prone to accept the establishment of innovative bioenergy value chains based on the cultivation of MUC lands in their regions. The majority of them recognized that bioenergy could bring a wide range of benefits at the local level, not only in terms of environmental externalities but also of economic and social development, such as through the creation of new business and job opportunities, therefore serving to alleviate or prevent the land abandonment and population decline currently on-going in these areas.
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