Dynamics of energy transitions under changing socioeconomic, technological and climate conditions in Northwest Germany

Matthias Ruth*, Onur Özgün, Jakob Wachsmuth, Stefan Gößling-Reisemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper analyzes regional interdependencies and trajectories of the energy and agriculture sectors in Germany's Northwest Metropolitan Region in order to assess the performance of regional low-cost and low-carbon strategies to alter energy sector profiles in the light of changing socioeconomic, technological and climate conditions. Our assessment is based on a dynamic, interactive simulation model for the years 2010 to 2050, which was developed and played out in close collaboration with diverse stakeholder groups in the region. Results from the model and modeling exercises demonstrate the need to increase energy efficiency because the reduction in demand it generates extends the policy space for decreasing emissions and reduces vulnerability to climate change. The results also show the feasibility of expanding renewable energy without heavy reliance on biomass, which currently is an important and contested source of energy in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-47
Number of pages19
JournalEcological Economics
Early online date24 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Energy transitions
  • Regional development
  • Regional integrated assessment
  • Renewable energy
  • Simulation modeling
  • Stakeholder engagement

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