Linking Climate Change Mitigation, Energy Security and Regional Development in Climate and Energy Model regions in Austria (LINKS)

Focusing specifically on Austria's 'model regions', the project aims to provide insights into the implementation of the Austrian government’s previous target to become energy self-sufficient by 2050.

The project, supported by the Austrian Climate Research Program (ACRP) focuses specifically on Austria’s model regions, which are seen as key instruments to achieve this target and have made becoming independent of fossil fuels their primary goal (Climate and Energy Fund, 2014). In line with ACRP’s goal to encourage “international participation to enhance visibility and knowledge transfer” (ACRP 2014, p.2) one of the project’s principle objectives is to share those insights gained, both with local stakeholders and with those countries outside the region which are looking to Austria for guidance.

Our objectives:

    1) To examine the economic feasibility of implementing climate-mitigation strategies in Austria’s model regions, whilst simultaneously pursuing energy autarky, and furthering regional development with respect to renewable energy. This includes tackling questions such as: can investment into renewable energies be a driver for socio-economic development, and what are the pros and cons for Austria, financial or otherwise, of pursuing regional energy independence through renewable energy?

    2) To assess social and political commitment to the goals of climate-change mitigation, energy autarky and regional development by examining: social acceptance within the model regions, political will at the national and local levels, the willingness of policy-making stakeholders to subsidize deployment of renewable energy, and energy consumers’ willingness to pay.

    3) To assess the relevance of the Austrian renewable energy model with regard to Morocco - carried out in partnership with Moroccan policy-makers and stakeholders.

The target group of our research consists of the Austrian climate and energy model regions, their local population, and decision-makers at the national level. In order to address the research questions above we use quantitative research methods, as well as qualitative research based on literature reviews, stakeholder interviews, standardized surveys and focus group discussions.

• What is the economic impact of energy autarky at a regional and national level, how will it affect public budgets, and to what extent will it influence the job creation process?

• How much political will is there behind the deployment of capital-intensive renewable energy sources? To what extent is there public acceptance of renewable energy infrastructure, and how does this relate to stakeholders’ and consumers’ willingness to pay for it?  Do information campaigns and initiatives promoting public involvement in the decision-making process have any effect on the overall acceptance of renewable energy, and how does this compare with regions where such initiatives are lacking?

• To what extent can the Austrian experience be transferred to other regions? How can the Austrian-Moroccan dialogue be promoted in order to stimulate mutual learning, participation and the co-production of knowledge?

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Last edited: 17 December 2018


Nadejda Komendantova

Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program


1.07.15 - 30.06.18

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
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