The multi-functional role of the rural space is gradually being enhanced in recent decades, as agriculture seems to be losing its leading position. The diversification of local economies through the exploitation of natural resources is being highlighted as a fundamental driving force for development. Renewable Energy Resources (RES) and, more specifically, the establishment of Small Hydropower (SHP) stations can also contribute towards integrated local development. The present paper examines the views of citizens in Serres prefecture concerning the present and future development of their area, as well as the impact on local development from the establishment and operation of SHP stations. The research was carried out with the help of a questionnaire distributed in Serres prefecture (Northern Greece), and multivariate statistical methods were used for data processing purposes. Based on the results of the research, we arrive at the conclusion that the respondents are aware of both the developmental and the environmentally friendly role of SHP stations.
Keywords: SHP stations, small hydropower stations, multivariate statistical methods, development, Greece