Planning transition through the transdisciplinary integration of regional and socio-cultural factors in the development of local energy transition measures

Project duration: February 2023 until January 2026

Funded by BMWK

Project partners:

Öko-Institut e.V. (coordination of consortium)

ILS Research gGmbH

IKEM – Institut für Klimaschutz, Energie und Mobilität e.V.


The widespread expansion of renewable energies (RE) has greatly increased in urgency and importance. The aim is to achieve climate neutrality by 2045 without jeopardizing European energy security. In Germany, there is a broad social consensus on the expansion of RE, as surveys show. Nevertheless, there is often resistance in the regional and local implementation of concrete RE projects on the ground. Therefore, there is a need for concepts, measures and instruments for an early involvement of diverse stakeholders in RE planning processes that go beyond formal commenting procedures and opening dates. For this, it is necessary to know the different interests and to include them appropriately in the processes of land use designation and approvals of RE plants.

The project PlanTieFEn is therefore designed as a transdisciplinary research project taking into account various perspectives. Together with local stakeholders, citizens and planning authorities, innovative planning methods and processes for the successful implementation of the energy transition locally will be developed and tested. Three model regions are cooperating with the research team: the "Trinational Metropolitan Region Upper Rhine" in Baden-Württemberg, the "Ruhr Area" in North Rhine-Westphalia and "Vorpommern" in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The interdisciplinary project consortium – Öko-Institut e.V., ILS Research gGmbH, IKEM e.V. – is working in three subprojects, each with its own focus:

  • The subproject A "Socio-technical factors of regional energy transition planning and transdisciplinary integration" (Plan/Soztec) of the Öko-Institut focuses on the interfaces and interactions between social and technical factors of energy transition planning. It ensures the inclusion of social aspects in innovative planning practice. To this end, locally adapted forms of communication and participation are being developed and partially tested together with practitioners.
  • The ILS sub-project B "Planning science factors of regional energy transition planning and regulation" (Plan/Reg) analyzes planning instruments and regulations that are used in the participatory design of the energy transition in the model regions.
  • Subproject C "Cultural-historical factors of regional energy transition planning and energy cultures" (Plan/EnKultur) of the IKEM applies systematically cultural science methods in energy research. It determines whether specific energy narratives are emerging in the respective cultural energy history.

Results of the project

The project identifies specific characteristics of model regions and features of regional energy cultures. Based on this, it develops adapted forms of participation that can be transferred into practice-oriented planning instruments and regulation. The project results will be visually merged and transferred to planning science, practice and the public via different addressee-appropriate transfer formats and publications in scientific journals.