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Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1560; doi:10.3390/su9091560

Facilitating Regional Energy Transition Strategies: Toward a Typology of Regions

1
Institute for Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research, Faculty of Sustainability, Leuphana University Lueneburg, 21335 Lueneburg, Germany
2
Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation—CGSC, 21335 Lueneburg, Germany
3
Institute of Ecology, Faculty of Sustainability, Leuphana University Lueneburg, 21335 Lueneburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Abstract

The regional level is essential for the use of renewable energies since on this level national political goals are harmonized with implementation activities. Hence, regional strategies can, we argue, be useful. Yet, these strategies must be tailored to meet a variety of contextual conditions. Within this study, we identified natural and socio-economic conditions that need to be considered when developing regional strategies for Energiewende. Focusing on these conditions, we conducted a multivariate statistical analysis of all 412 German districts (Landkreise). We identified nine energy context types characterized by different renewable energy potentials and socio-economic conditions. We propose to develop one generic regional energy transition strategy for each of the energy context types. These can serve as a governance tool that operationalizes and allocates national Energiewende goals according to regional contextual conditions. Moreover, the energy context types may support regional decision makers by allowing them to prioritize steps in the transition process, to establish networks with, and to learn from, similar regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: renewable energy; Energiewende; context; social innovation; transition strategies renewable energy; Energiewende; context; social innovation; transition strategies
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Lutz, L.M.; Lang, D.J.; von Wehrden, H. Facilitating Regional Energy Transition Strategies: Toward a Typology of Regions. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1560.

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