Expansion of Renewable Energy in Federal Settings: Austria, Belgium, and Germany in Comparison

Stefan Wurster, Christian Hagemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In the face of accelerating climate change, the transition towards a nonnuclear renewable energy system represents a key political challenge, which can be aggravated by the increasing energy supply uncertainty created by the shift away from fossil fuels. In this article, we conduct a comparison of the expansion of renewable energy sources in Austria, Belgium, and Germany at the level of their subnational units (federal states), thereby covering three economically very important central European federal European Union members. We consider potentially influential factors in a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis: In addition to state-specific socioeconomic and geographical characteristics, political factors, such as parties in government, and specific energy-related policy instruments are included in the analysis. We find that a high potential for renewable electricity expansion in combination with low financial prosperity is most likely to lead to a successful expansion of renewable electricity production from wind and photovoltaics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-168
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Environment and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Central Europe
  • RES support policies
  • federal states
  • photovoltaic
  • qualitative comparative analysis
  • renewable energy
  • wind energy


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