About the project
Meeting the 2°C climate target requires a massive transformation of energy systems involving both the growth of "new" technologies (e.g. wind power) and phase-out of "old" ones (e.g. use of coal). But closing down energy industries is a painful socio-political process that can lead to job losses, economic difficulties, and political tensions. Even in Germany, with its ambitious climate strategies, attempts to close coal mines are facing public protests. However, much more scientific effort has gone into researching the expansion of new energy technologies than the phase-out of "old" ones.
This project closes this research gap by identifying and quantifying historical cases of energy industry contractions as well as their socio-political preconditions and implications.
How frequently and under what conditions do energy industries contract?
What types of policies make energy industry contractions less painful?
We will also quantify contraction rates in future energy scenarios, including those under climate policies. How do these projected rates of contraction compare to historical precedents?
Is the required contraction realistic? How can it be made less painful?
The project brings together the newly-founded Centre for Climate and Energy Transformations at the University of Bergen and the Energy Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria), an internationally leading interdisciplinary group working on energy transitions.
The primary objective of the project is to analyze the rates, the driving forces and the actual or potential implications of contraction of energy industries both historically and in long-term climate stabilization scenarios in order to contribute to understanding the socio-political challenges associated with energy technology changes required to meet the 2ºC target.
Funding source: The Research Council of Norway's Programme of Climate Research (KLIMAFORSK).
Contracting Party: University of Bergen
Project Manager: Jessica Jewell (UiB / IIASA)
Post.doc.: Vadim Vinichenko