Mobilising Endogenous Potentials for Structural Change – Decarbonisation in a Lignite Mining Region (DecarbLau)

Financed by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Cooperation: Chair of General economics and Chair of Management of regional energy systems at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Halle Institute for Economic Research, Innovationsregion Lausitz, Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), TU Dresden

The project DecarbLau is a three-year research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the funding priority “Economics of Climate Change”.

The phasing-out of lignite based electricity production will affect the economic development of small regions in Germany. The political induced phasing-out of an important economic sector provokes the resistance from regional actors and state administrations. Using the example of the Lusatia region the research project considers the following question: How a proactive approach towards structural change can be implemented in a structurally weak region? Our working hypothesis is that additional governmental funding will only have a positive economic impact in the region, if there is sufficient endogenous potential, which can be transformed in to new economic structures. Since the regional innovation system is characterised by a small R&D workforce and a comparatively low number of patent declarations, these endogenous potentials need to be developed through appropriate policies.

Within the project, the Chair of Energy Economics quantifies the future employment development within the Lusatian lignite industry. The analysis distinguishes and quantifies direct and indirect employment effects. In order to determine the extent of the social consequences of a coal phase-out, the effects are assessed by model-based scenarios.