Peter Schmuck, Marianne Karpenstein-Machan & André Wüste

Applying sustainability science principles of the Goettingen approach on initiating renewable energy solutions in three German regions

Abstract: In this chapter an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary action research project will be reported applying sustainability science principles and aiming at supporting the conversion of the energy supply of three German regions in Lower Saxony from fossil and nuclear fuels to biomass and other renewable energies. That actually ongoing project started in 2009. The first steps of realization have been: (1) Selection of partner districts: To identify regions with a high chance of realization of the intended changes, a list of suitability criteria was constructed and three regions were selected. (2) In these regions a detailed analysis of the actual state of the use of biomass for energy production was performed, with special focus on existing personal networks, bioenergy potentials, related conflicts and actual plans. (3)  Actually, planning workshops are performed. Participants are local politicians, administration staff and other stakeholders like farmers and nature protection activists. They are formulating in consense oriented setting, moderated by the scientists´ team, their own goals for the conversion of their region. They derive concrete projects and discuss ways to realize these plans. The scientists support that process and perform research in parallel. 

Keywords: action research, sustainability science, bioenergy regions