Case Study Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Exploring the socio-economic impact of energy transition in EU regions
Haase, Isabel 2021: Exploring the socio-economic impact of energy transition in EU regions – Case Study 4 – Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Ecologic Institute: Berlin.
Regions play a central role in achieving the substantial acceleration of renewable energy deployment required to reach the 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets. The report "The socio-economic impacts of renewable energy in EU regions: Strengthening local benefits" examines the socio-economic effects of renewable energy deployment at the regional level in the EU and subsequently identifies factors that are conducive to an equitable energy transition. As part of the report, this case study by Ecologic Institute analyzes the role of renewable energy and its socio-economic imparts in the North German region Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The analysis was done for the the Greens/European Free Alliance.
Key conclusions of the case study are:
- The renewable energy sector has been expanding in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania during the last decade, albeit at a slowing pace from 2018 onwards. Its relative economic importance is higher than in most other German states, and models predict a positive effect of the energy transition on the state’s economy in the next decade.
- Correspondingly, the renewable energy sector has been identified as a growth factor in the region by the Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian government. Thus, the political leadership especially supports the expansion of onshore and offshore wind energy for the state to become a key electricity producer in Germany.
- In general, licensing procedures, local resistance and lack of public support are factors that hamper the expansion of the sector and might increasingly do so in the future. Additionally, policies at federal level and a shortage of skilled workers due to an aging population might further impede renewable energy deployment.
- Public acceptance is one key issue, as support in the region is lower in comparison with other states. The perception of not having agency in the energy transition and not reaping its benefits is prevalent in the region. A key tool to mitigate this issue would be to increase local ownership. This is not a new concept – stipulations in Federal and state law already exist to increase public participation, but due to the manner of implementation and a time lag until benefits for the public manifest, they so far have failed to significantly impact local communities.