Taking a Micro-Perspective on the Global Challenge of Climate Change: The “Microenergy Systems” Research Focus at the Technische Universität Berlin

  • Jonas Van der Straeten
  • Kathrin Friederici
  • Sebastian Groh
Chapter

Abstract

In the past, fuel-based economies have led the way in economic growth, resulting in emissions that are now understood to cause climate change, having a major impact on countries of the Global South. It has become clear that effective climate change mitigation and adaptation not only require restrictions on energy consumption in the industrialized world, but also a decoupling of economic development from greenhouse gas emissions in the South. But can developing countries take a less carbon-intensive path, even though its outcome is highly uncertain? In many scenarios for a sustainable future energy supply, decentralized solutions play a crucial role. Such solutions are often based on renewable energies and can help to avoid lock-in effects based on fuel intensive energy systems. However, they are characterized by various aspects that conventional research paradigms have given little attention to, until now. These research challenges are reflected in the concept of Microenergy Systems, which serves as a theoretical basis for the Research Focus and Ph.D. program at the Technische Universität in Berlin. It brings together academics from various disciplines to take a micro-perspective on the idea of decentralized energy supply. This chapter introduces and discusses the concept of Microenergy Systems. It summarizes the development of the relatively young research group—the experiences of engineers, social and political scientists, economists and planners partaking in joint research and education in the field of decentralized sustainable energy solutions. Furthermore it highlights the attempt to establish an international scientific community concerned with Microenergy Systems amongst academics who are scattered throughout different institutions and numerous universities worldwide.

Keywords

Decentralized energy supply User perspective Transdisciplinary research Knowledge transfer Education 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonas Van der Straeten
    • 1
  • Kathrin Friederici
    • 1
  • Sebastian Groh
    • 1
  1. 1.MES Research GroupTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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