Collaborative Governance in Energy Regions

Faculty Research


Energy transition, exemplified by energy efficiency, decreased energy consumption and reduced dependency on fossil fuels, is closely linked to climate change policy efforts towards “zero-carbon” emissions.

Collaborative efforts are needed, however, in order to initiate and implement the transition process in cities and energy regions, in particular, as the main emitters of CO2.

New research by MUV Prof. Sabine Sedlacek and Prof. Dagmar Lund-Durlacher published in Journal of Cleaner Production focuses on the current debate over energy transition at the regional level and aims at filling an existing gap in literature about how to organize transition processes in energy regions.

The focus of the research, Pinzgau region, is located in the Austrian province of Salzburg. The northern parts of Pinzgau are located in one of the biggest ski regions in Austria, the Skicircus Saalbach-Hinterglemm-Leogang-Fieberbrunn. The southern parts are located in the national park Hohe Tauern, which is characterized as a rural region with national park related tourism. The region is of particular interest due to the conflicting goals of winter tourism and nature preservation, and the differentiated opportunities implied by each for the implementation of an energy region.

The study results show that involved regional stakeholders focus predominantly on their own organizational environment and lack an overarching strategy. Moderation by external experts is needed to tackle this issue.

“Our results show that a moderated stakeholder identification process helps to integrate the relevant stakeholders in a strong alliance building process which helps to avoid information asymmetries and to detect path-dependent structures and systemic lock-ins,” the researchers claim.

The study stresses the importance of a moderated process which connects the stakeholders, builds alliances and provides structures allowing less committed parties to change their mindset.

The paper offers theoretical insights as well as practical implications for energy regions.

Read the full research paper here.


Related subjects at MU Vienna:

BSc in International Management with a Specialization in Entrepreneurship and Governance
BBA Tourism and Hospitality Management
MBA with a Specialization in Sustainable Management and Governance
MSc in Sustainable Development, Management and Policy
MSc in International Tourism Management