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The Energy Transition from Plant Operators’ Perspective—A Behaviorist Approach


  • Stephan Bosch

    () (Institute for Geography, Augsburg University, 86159 Augsburg, Germany)

  • Lucas Schwarz

    () (Institute for Geography, Augsburg University, 86159 Augsburg, Germany)


The implementation of many small power stations compensates the closing of powerful large power plants as part of the German Energy Transition is compensated. It is unclear how site decisions are made, which actors are involved, and which economic, ecological, and social consequences occur. The quantitative study consists of a written postal survey of renewable energy plant operators, concerning central aspects of project development. The study found strong regional disparities concerning the entrepreneurial behavior of plant operators of renewable energies, a low importance of socio-institutional and socio-cultural parameters, a great relevance of micro-social environment during site planning of renewable energy plants, and that plant operators are highly influenced by economic and individual desires. It may be concluded that the perspectives operators have on the Energy Transitions must be more systematically included into the discourse regarding the sustainable deployment of renewable energies, as they reveal significant disparities with topics that are emphasized by the public (e.g., landscape aesthetic, citizens’ participation). It was shown that the challenges and problems that arise in the context of regional energy transformation cannot be generalized beyond regional circumstances; rather, they must be regarded as specific regional phenomena that have to be overcome by means of regionally adapted energy concepts.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Bosch & Lucas Schwarz, 2019. "The Energy Transition from Plant Operators’ Perspective—A Behaviorist Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(6), pages 1-28, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:6:p:1621-:d:214755

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Energy Transition; plant operator; renewable energies; site factors; socio-institutional embeddedness;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products


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