The German energy transition and mitigating disruptions in coal-mining regions

This project seeks to minimize disruptions to a region’s economy and workforce, particularly those regions undergoing an energy transition.  Closures of coal and nuclear power plants can have drastic and long-term impacts on regional economies. Our goals are to understand the skills and industry gaps that can inhibit quick recovery from such transitions, and to suggest educational interventions that help fill those gaps.

Workers in regions around the world will face the disruptive impacts of transitioning to low-carbon energy sources. These inevitable and destabilizing transitions will occur simultaneously with the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and unpredictable trends in telework, automation, housing prices, and education.  This complex web of issues makes it extremely difficult for regional planners to navigate transitions without negative consequences. Using a complex systems framework. Here we focus on the Lausitz region of Germany to identify less painful pathways through Germany’s energy transition. Our goal is to help mitigate job loss and retraining costs, while turning disruptions into opportunities for future economies not previously considered possible.

Organizational partners