1st Edition

Cross-Border Renewable Energy Transitions Lessons from Europe's Upper Rhine Region

Edited By Philippe Hamman Copyright 2022
    266 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    266 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the intrinsically multiscale issue of renewable energy transition from a local, national and transnational perspective, and provides insights into current developments in the Upper Rhine Region that can serve as an international model.

    Organised around the exploration of stakeholder issues, the volume first describes a framework for public action and modelling and then articulates a triple complementary focus from the viewpoint of law, economics and sociology. This multidisciplinary approach is anchored in the social sciences, but also explores the ways in which technological issues are increasingly debated in the implementation of the ecological transition. With a focus on the Upper Rhine Region of France, Germany and Switzerland, the contributions throughout analyse how concrete regional projects emerge, and whether they are carried out by local authorities, private energy groups, network associations or committed citizens. From this, it appears that real-world energy transition modes can be best understood as permanent transactional processes involving institutional regulations, economic levers and barriers and social interactions.

    This book will be of interest to advanced students and scholars focusing on renewable energy transition, stakeholder issues, environment and sustainability studies, as well as those who are interested in the methodological aspects of the social sciences, especially within the fields of sociology, law, economy, geography, political science, urbanism and planning.

    List of figures, maps, boxes

    List of contributors

    Preface and acknowledgements  

    Part I: From conceptual framework to regional prospective modelling

    Chapter 1. Renewable energy transition beyond borders in Europe: From a literature review to a case study in the Upper Rhine Region

    Philippe Hamman

    Chapter 2. A regional cross-border approach to the energy transition: Political context and decarbonisation pathways, renewable energy potentials, and two energy system models

    Ines Gavrilut, Felix Kytzia, Kristina Izmailova, Zeina Najjar, Barbara Koch, Marco Andrés Guevara-Luna, Adrien Barth, Alain Clappier, Nadège Blond, Johannes Miocic, Joris Dehler-Holland, and Bushra Canaan

    Part II: Regulatory frameworks and cross-border cooperation issues

    Chapter 3. Franco-German cross-border cooperation on hydropower implementation: Regulatory issues and future challenges

    Melis Aras and Vincent Dubarle

    Chapter 4. Franco-German partnerships for the production of photovoltaic energy: The difficulties of a cross-border cooperation for renewable energies

    Élisabeth Lambert and Laurie Nogues

    Chapter 5. Deep geothermal energy versus transboundary environmental protection: The law as a conciliation tool?

    Lou-Anne Bedaride and Sophie Gambardella

    Part III: Economic barriers, opportunities and incentives

    Chapter 6. Chances and barriers to European transnational collaboration in the development of a sustainable energy market: Potentials in the Upper Rhine Region

    Nora Auguste Möller, Maximilian Hansmann, Dominik Schröder, Bianca Blum, and Bernhard Neumärker

    Chapter 7. The political economy of a transnational and sustainable electricity market: The expansion of the Trinational Metropolitan Region Upper Rhine (TMO)

    Viola Nellessen, Dominik Schröder, Bianca Blum, and Bernhard Neumärker

    Part IV: Sociological interplays: key actors and citizen participation

    Chapter 8. Renewable energies in the Upper Rhine Region from a stakeholder viewpoint: Projects, territorialisation and networks in the making

    Marie Mangold and Philippe Hamman

    Chapter 9. Citizen energy cooperatives in the Upper Rhine Region: Commoning issues in the transition towards a decarbonised and decentralised future

    Philippe Hamman


    Philippe Hamman



    Philippe Hamman is Full Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Urbanism and Regional Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Strasbourg, France.

    "This is a great book about developing regional and transnational energy systems considering regulatory, political and governance aspects. It contributes to the understanding of the energy transition as a multi-level and multi-agent process."

    Dogan Keles, Professor in Applied Economics, Department of Technology, Management and Economics, Technical University of Denmark.


    "Developing new energies raises radical tensions and contradictions between states, firms and communities. In this slow and transitional process, the societal dimension comes before technical issues. Cross-border Renewable Energy Transitions is innovative and creative in exploring a threefold legal, economic and sociological perspective. The book points out the need of transactional arrangements between conflicting economic interests and moral values."

    Maurice Blanc, Emeritus Professor in Sociology, Strasbourg University, France


    "Cross-border Renewable Energy Transitions: Lessons from Europe's Upper Rhine Region" is a particularly rich book calling upon diverse disciplinary fields to shed light on the issue of the transition to renewable energy. In this book, edited by Philippe Hamman, the problem of sustainability governance is brilliantly explored from both theoretical and empirical perspectives."

    Céline Burger, Assistant Professor in urban planning, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France


    "This volume provides rich insights into the potentials of cross-border collaborations in the energy transition. Studying the energy transition in France’s, Germany’s, and Switzerland’s Upper-Rhine Region, it considers the multi-level and multi-actor nature of these processes. Thereby, it does not only offer insightful results for researchers, but also helpful guidance for policy makers."

    Jens Koehrsen, University of Basel, Switzerland.


    "Throughout this book Philippe Hamman provides a multi-scalar analysis of energy transition in Europe. Grounded in empirical work in France, Germany and Switzerland, it is one of the rare examples of cross-disciplinary work in the social sciences, as well as being an important contribution to energy studies, providing outlines for future policies". 

    Nadine Roudil, Full Professor of Sociology, National School of Archecture of Paris Val de Seine, France


    "Based on a multidisciplinary perspective, this book provides a welcome overview of the issues at stake in the energy transition and the development of renewable energies. Combining a review of the literature with theoretical approaches and case studies from three European countries, it describes the multiplication of transactional arrangements in the field of renewable energy projects, using a multi-scalar approach that has now become indispensable."

    Jérôme Dubois, Full Professor of urban planning and regional development, Aix-Marseille University, France