Department für Geographie





Project information


Transition Dynamics in Energy Regions: An Integrated Model for Sustainable Policies


Climate and Energy Fund of the Austrian Federal Government

Project lead

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Claudia R. Binder
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Alfred Posch

Project partner

  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
    Chair for Human Environment Relations
    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Claudia R. Binder
  • Delft University of Technology
    Energy & Industry Group
    Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management
    Prof. Dr. Gerard P.J. Dijkema
  • European Centre for Renewable Energy Güssing (EEE)
    Ing. Joachim Hacker
  • Energieregion Weiz-Gleisdorf
    Dr. Iris Absenger

Project duration

1.4.2011 – 31.03.2014

Organigramm 2013


Energy regions are regional initiatives, which usually envision energy self-sufficiency by using regional renewable energy sources and building a decentralized energy infrastructure. Studies on energy regions have mostly looked at the technical-operational characteristics and informed policy-makers on how to improve energy infrastructure. However, they have missed out in providing and understanding the dynamics of the transition process, in particular the role of policies, social norm, and culture in stakeholders' decision-making and thus, on the transition process itself.


The main objectives of this project are to simulate the transition dynamics of energy regions and derive policy recommendations. Specifically, we will:

  1. Analyze the transition dynamics in two Austrian energy regions from their establishment until today.
  2. Develop an integrated simulation model for studying transition dynamics in energy regions including interrelations and feedbacks between the social system and the energy infrastructure, as well as the impact of policies on individual human behaviour and the transition process.
  3. Derive policy recommendations for Austrian policy makers.

Expected results

Our project will contribute to overcome disciplinary boundaries and show how transitions theory and modelling methods can be combined with transdisciplinary research on socio-technical transitions. Specifically, we expect the following results:

Module 1: System characterization

  • Quantitative database of the energy transitions in the two study regions Güssing and Energieregion Weiz-Gleisdorf.
  • A set of indicators, which characterizes the transition process and analyzes the effect of policies on the transition process.

Module 2: Dynamic modelling

  • A model that represents decisions of different stakeholders.
  • A model that allows testing various policies.

Module 3: Policy development

  • Policy recommendations for establishing new, supporting current and maintaining successful transitions in energy regions.