Energy transition in the Rhenish mining area – Implications of project funding for green path development




Structural change, Sustainability transformation, Green path development, Energy transition, Rhenish mining area



With the phase-out of lignite, the Rhenish mining area is at the beginning of a transformation process that will take decades. Structural funds of almost 15 billion euros are to be allocated as project funding until 2038. The basis for this is the economic and structural programme and a regional consensus with representatives of the region. The aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent the funding project selection helps to establish green development paths and move closer to the ambitious goal of a sustainable model region for energy supply and production. For this purpose, the characteristics of 22 submitted projects in the “Zukunftsfeld” energy and industry are analysed with regard to a typology of green paths. With the help of nine interviews, framework conditions (design of the funding process and resource endowment of the actors) that influence green path development processes in the Rhenish Revier could be identified. Path renewal processes of the regional industry as well as path creation dynamics especially in the hydrogen sector can be found. Overall, the project selection is determined by a high proportion of knowledge institutions, whose participation is favoured by the framework conditions. The participation of small and medium sized enterprises and municipalities, on the other hand, is hampered by the framework conditions, which means that existing regional potentials are not utilized optimally and the transformation process as a whole can be compromised.


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Issue publication date 2022-10-28 (version 2)
Published online first 2022-09-19 (version 1)




Policy and practice perspective

How to Cite

Aring M, Breul M, Revilla Diez J. Energy transition in the Rhenish mining area – Implications of project funding for green path development. RuR [Internet]. 2022 Oct. 28 [cited 2024 Jun. 17];80(5):588-600. Available from: