“BMWK provides almost one million euros in funding for FernUni research on wind energy”

Teacher in a classroom talking to young pupils about wind energy Photo: Gorodenkoff-stock.adobe

Although wind energy has long been a key pillar of the energy revolution, its accelerated expansion is also becoming fundamental for ensuring supply security in light of the current energy crisis. However, this expansion experienced a severe slump between 2018 and 2020. Contributing factors included problems with planning and permits, as well as local citizen petitions and lawsuits. Because these processes and their effects on wind energy expansion have not yet been systematically researched, a research project, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Annette Elisabeth Töller at the FernUniversität in Hagen, has now been approved by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) to investigate the phenomenon. The title of the project is “Lawsuits and citizens’ petitions as impediments to the expansion of wind energy in Germany – Hemm-den-Wind” (Stifle the Wind).

Read more

Supported closely by the psychologists Dr. Helen Landmann and Prof. Dr. Robert Gaschler as well as the legal specialist Prof. Dr. Andrea Edenharter, the interdisciplinary project, which also includes key contributions from political scientist Dr. Daniel Rasch, is researching the procedural, legal and social frameworks for expanding wind energy.

The project is supported by 29 wind energy companies across Germany, as well as the German Wind Energy Association (Bundesverband WindEnergie e. V.) and the Agency for Onshore Wind Energy (Fachagentur Windenergie an Land e. V.). Its work brings together perspectives from political science, psychology, and jurisprudence to identify which conditions trigger lawsuits and citizens’ petitions against onshore wind projects occur and at which stage they become an obstacle to wind energy development.

  • The political science subproject deals with citizens’ petitions as well as (collective) lawsuits against wind energy plants and investigates under which conditions these proceedings occur in the first place and also which conditions determine whether they are successful (in the sense that the erection of a specific wind energy plant is prevented or restricted).
  • The psychology-based subproject is primarily concerned with the psychological conditions which lead to citizens’ petitions against wind energy projects, focusing on the emergence of group-related motivation and emotion.
  • The jurisprudential subproject examines lawsuits filed against permits for wind turbines, applications for judicial review against planning regulations on the use of wind power, and also lawsuits regarding citizens’ petitions. It explores the reasons most often used to stop wind energy development in these proceedings.

By combining these three perspectives and working closely with the Agency for Onshore Wind Energy, concrete insights are being gained that may help to improve the procedural, legal and social frameworks for wind energy expansion. Preparations are currently underway so that the project can begin in January 2023.

“Scientific Dialogue on Climate and Energy”

Two pairs of hands carefully holding the Earth Photo: Photo: kozorog-stock.adobe

“We need evidence-based knowledge to solve crises such as climate change and energy supply.“ This was the conclusion of the Berlin Sympo­sium at the FernUniversität. Scientists from research and practice spent the day discussing pressing issues and challenges. The event was organized by the FernUni’s interdisciplinary research center “Energy, Environment & Sustainability” together with the Berlin Office for Transfer & Cooperation.

To the press release (German only)

“What will our energy markets look like in the future?”

Photo of Dr. Michael Bucksteeg smiling outside a university building Photo: Photo: Volker Wiciok

The new junior professorship at FernUniversität held by Dr. Michael Bucksteeg focuses on energy economics. The 38-year-old is also hoping to contribute to the activities of Energy, Environment & Sustainability Research Center. He is currently working on the topic of hydrogen and how it can be developed for the energy market.

To the press release (German only)

“I’m expecting a wave of lawsuits”

Professor Kresse smiling and standing on a balcony overlooking the university, holding a certificate Photo: Photo: FernUniversität

Bernhard Kreße is the new Professor of Energy Law at the FernUni. Questions regarding rising gas, electricity and water prices make his subject a discipline that is very much in demand. The plan is not only to collaborate with the Energy, Environment & Sustainability Research Center, but also to bring people from the worlds of academia and business together at the FernUni within the framework of energy law conferences to tackle current problems relating to energy law.

To the press release (German only)

Waste: Prevention comes first

An unsuspecting woman in a business suit is about to be pounced on by a monster made out of garbage Photo: Peter Dazeley/GettyImages

The research project "Circular Cities NRW" is turning its sights on waste policy in North Rhine-Westphalia. The goal: to develop strategies for an innovative circular economy. In cooperation with the Wuppertal Institute, a seven-member team is researching the characteristics and determinants of waste prevention strategies of the independent cities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Developing the climate-neutral car

Two scientists working on some machinery in an industrial lab Photo: Monty Rakusen/Image Source/Getty Images

The Climate Protection Act has presented the automotive industry with a very ambitious challenge: to become climate-neutral by 2045. How the industry can become climate-neutral is the topic of the conference Economic Action which will be attended by representatives from the sector. The event is hosted by the Faculty of Economics at the FernUniversität in Hagen.

“We are in the midst of climate change”

TV weatherman Karsten Schwanke smiling at the camera Photo: Photo: Jürgen Gundelsweiler

Visitors to the FernUniversität Campusfest on 20 August had the chance to enjoy an interesting presentation by the meteorologist and ARD-TV presenter Karsten Schwanke: “Climate Change – THE Biggest Challenge for our Society.” The lecture is part of the lecture series organized by Energy, Environment & Sustainability.

“Our forests need to become more diverse”

Looking up at a bright sky through a canopy of green leaves Photo:

As part of the Energy, Environment & Sustainability lecture series, the well-known forestry researcher Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus gave an exciting lecture on “How Forests Must Adapt to Climate Change” at the LWL Open-Air Museum in Hagen.

Previous press releases (German only)

E/E/S Research Center | 13.05.2024