IOER to investigate regional pathways of the energy transition in Europe

How does social and ecological transformation work in the context of the energy transition? This is the question the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) will be exploring over the next three years in the EU project ENTRANCES. Together with 14 European partners the IOER will examine different regional development pathways in Europe. The aim is not only to identify pathways to accelerate the energy transition. More specifically the project strives to identify, which social and spatial factors are critical for this, and what different regions can learn from each other.


With the "Green Deal", the European Commission has set an important target: a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. Significant structural changes triggered by the 2030 climate and energy framework have created major challenges for Europe's regions. The need for action is enormous, especially where coal mining and carbon-intensive industry have shaped the economy. The closure, relocation or restructuring of mining, energy and industrial operations are overlapping with demographic changes, advancing digitalization and the effects of the corona pandemic. The previous economic, social and ecological fabrics in the affected regions are no longer valid. Social identities and political orientations falter and radical positions gain influence. At the same time, the energy transition opens up completely new development perspectives, supported by sustainable economic models and a changing self-image.

So how to set the course on the way to climate-neutral energy systems and regions? Which experiences have already been made with the regional structural change, and which strategies of social and ecological change are currently being pursued? And: What can be learned when comparing between different European regions? The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) is addressing these questions as part of the "ENTRANCES" project (ENergy TRANsitions from Coal and carbon: Effects on Societies) launched in the European research program Horizon 2020 in May.

In close cooperation with 14 European partners from science and practice, as well as with diverse regional actors, the institute analyzes systemic patterns of change, and co-develops scenarios and options for sustainable regional transformation. In addition to the interrelations between social, economic, ecological and technical aspects, the role of psychological, cultural and political factors will be a particular concern. One out of thirteen case studies is the Lusatia region (Saxony and Brandenburg), which the IOER will work on together with the state governments in Dresden and Potsdam, as well as with municipal partners of the Lausitz Round in the next three years.

Further information coming soon here

Contact at the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER):

Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram (Projektleiter am IÖR), E-Mail: m.wolfram[im]ioer.de
Prof. Dr. Robert Knippschild (Fallstudie Lausitz), E-Mail: r.knippschild[im]ioer.de

EU-FlagThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement nº 883947. The document represents the view of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility: it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). The European Commission and the Agency do not accept responsibility for the use that may be made of the information it contains.