The Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM) is researching transition processes in a variety of current and former coal regions worldwide, to develop a handbook that can guide just energy transitions in Lusatia, a lignite region in eastern Germany, but also other coal regions. The study is part of the WindNODE project and sponsored by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the programme ‘SINTEG — Smart Energy Showcases’.
At the heart of the ‘Just Transition Study’ are regional case studies, which investigate the forces behind the energy transition, tools that facilitate just transition processes, and practical experiences. The study examines the role of various factors in each region, including specific technologies, business models, policies, regulatory frameworks, governance models, social innovations, and participatory formats.
The findings of the case studies will be linked to successful approaches from the WindNODE project and compiled into an accessible handbook that can assist regional policy makers and stakeholders in implementing successful transitions in coal and other carbon-intensive regions. As there is no one-size-fits-all approach, our handbook aims to inspire and support the development of solutions that are tailored to the strengths and challenges of a given region.
The handbook will be published in 2021 and feature:
- a Just Transition Toolbox for coal regions with best practices, lessons learned and inspiring stories,
- a roadmap for the energy transition in Lusatia with practice-oriented recommendations that are tailored to specific regional strengths and challenges, and
- recommendations to facilitate a just transition through changes in the regulatory and policy framework across different levels.
Our research is grounded in a systemic transition perspective that assumes that regional transitions to a low-carbon economy are based on social and technological innovations and broad multi-stakeholder participation. Insight from a broad range of stakeholders – including policy makers, business leaders, civil society organisations, researchers, and educators – is therefore a crucial component of the case studies.