31. March 2021CINTRAN Newsletter #2

Welcome to issue #2 of the CINTRAN Network Newsletter. We update you on the project's research activities, we introduce you to CINTRAN's case study regions and the latest developments on the ground and provide further coal transition news. Enjoy the read!

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Latest Research Outputs

Who Loses the Most from Low-carbon Transitions?
In an early output connected to the CINTRAN project, Benjamin Sovacool and colleagues examine 20 years of geography and political ecology literature on the energy justice implications of climate change mitigation. Grounded in literature review of 198 studies and their corresponding 332 case studies, this study confirms the persistent presence of four processes—enclosure, exclusion, encroachment, and entrenchment—across diverse technologies from hydropower to household solar panels.

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Photo: “Night shift just started“ by unefunge on Flickr / CC BY-NC ND 2.0

Integrating Responsible Innovation, Social Practices, and Energy Justice
A further output by Benjamin Sovacool et al. has been recently published and is freely accessible online until May 15. It takes as a starting point the large bulk of conceptual approaches which has arisen in the past few decades seeking to explain the interlinked phenomena of energy transitions, low-carbon transitions, or sociotechnical change. With an eye for theoretical synthesis, the study asks: What do three particular epistemic communities—those concerning innovation, practices, and justice—say about energy transitions? What does this literature reveal about the injustices and inequalities of energy transitions? And what can we learn by integrating aspects of this literature?

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CINTRAN’s Regional Foci

The qualitative research of CINTRAN focuses on four highly fossil-fuel dependent regions across Europe. The aim is to derive generalizable insights about the patterns and dynamics of decarbonization and the corresponding structural adjustments that hold relevance for all carbon-intensive regions in the EU. In this network newsletter, we present short regional fact sheets and highlight recent policy decisions as well as remaining challenges.


Western Macedonia, Greece

This short review describes the status of the energy transition in the region, introduces the history of lignite mining in Western Macedonia as well as the current decarbonisation plans. We summarize the effects of delignification on the region as well as the policy decisions taken by the Greek government to address them.

Silesia, Poland

Silesia, the largest hard coal mining region in the EU, is in the middle of preparations for the transition away from coal. We present a short portrait of the region and summarize the currently ongoing transitional steps, which are split into two parallel processes, with one focused on regional development policy and another on the closure of coal mines.

Ida-Virumaa, Estonia


Ida-Virumaa is a former industrial centre with rich natural resources. The county contains large deposits of shale oil that are used in the power plants and oil industry, also situated in the same region. We present a short economic profile, the regional just transition plan and recent actions and decisions.

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Rhenish lignite area, Germany

This short overview provides background information on the German coal phase out process, portrays the Rhenish lignite area and describes the main actors and stakeholders active in the region. The regional transition process structure and an update on recent developments complete this regional profile.

Coal Regions Learning Academy – Training Needs Assessment

The College of Europe is implementing a World Bank sponsored project called the Coal Regions Learning Academy. With the involvement of the EC, the project addresses capacity gaps impeding coal regions in the Western Balkans and Ukraine from implementing transition strategies and kick-start projects. The knowledge to be delivered through the Academy reflects a broad array of case studies, global good practices, use of analytical tools, and prevailing regulatory processes. The Academy is currently assessing training needs. We invite you to take part in the survey.

To the questionaire


Global Coal Mine Tracker Released

The Global Energy Monitor (GEM) recently released a powerful new online resource, the Global Coal Mine Tracker. It catalogs the world’s major coal mines as well as proposed projects. Along with maps and summary data, the tracker provides additional details on each mine with a dedicated wiki page. GEM also hosts the Global Coal Plant Tracker, which is worked up in a similar fashion.


Our sister projects



ENTRANCES aims to develop a theoretically-based and empirically-grounded understanding of cross-cutting issues related to SSH aspects of “Clean Energy Transition” in European coal mining and carbon-intensive regions, so as to formulate a set of recommendations in order to tackle these issues. With an overall view to involve different key players and perspectives at territorial, regional, national, and European levels, ENTRANCES will develop 13 regional case studies. Read more.


TIPPING+ will provide an empirical in-depth social science understanding of fundamental changes in socio-demographic, geographical, psychological, cultural, political, and economic patterns which give rise to Social-Ecological Tipping Points, both positive and negative in relation to socio-energy regional systems. The main focus of TIPPING+ is the participatory co-production of knowledge on the driving forces and deliberate tipping interventions leading to the emergence of positive tipping points toward clean energy transitions in European coal and carbon intensive regions. Read more.


TRACER supports 9 coal-intensive regions in Europe to design (or re-design) their R&I strategies in order to facilitate their transition towards a sustainable energy system. Six of these nine European target regions are from EU Members States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania), and three from countries outside the EU (Serbia, Ukraine, UK), yet all of them facing the same challenges. Read more.


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Christof Arens
Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie


The CINTRAN project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 884539. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of CINEA or other EU agencies or bodies.