Economics of Coal Phase-Out – Identifying Building Blocks for Future Regional Transition Frameworks

    Boxberg/Oberlausitz, Germany – Photo by Torsten Kellermann


    Part of the Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy (WIP) at the University of Technology is the junior research group CoalExit, led by Prof. Dr. Pao-Yu Oei.

    A major challenge for international climate and energy policies, especially after the climate conferences COP21 and COP22, is curbing global coal consumption to prevent global warming, in the context of a global transformation towards a lower-carbon energy system. These processes require both, a technical overhaul of the energy system, and a societal transformation process including different group of actors, sectors, regions, and countries. The distributive aspects are a major challenge, and have previously often been underestimated.

    The main aim of the research project ‘CoalExit’ is therefore to design a socially acceptable framework for an upcoming coal phase-out in Germany, as a basis for future regional transition frameworks. This is based on findings from past transitions, continuous feedback from stakeholders, institutional policy analysis, legal aspects and quantitative modeling of the European electricity sector including employment effects. Subsequently, this inter- and transdisciplinary research analyzes the particular situation in other countries, i.a. China, Colombia, India, and South Africa, its implications on the global coal market, and the interdependence with other fossil fuel markets.

    The results will be made available as a basis for political decision making. The dissemination of the results increases the awareness of adaptation and mitigation research to a wide range of national and international academic as well as non-academic audiences, and advances the fundamental research on societal transition processes. 

    Further CoalExit is part of the Coal Transitions Research Hub, an international research platform which aims to develop credible and feasible trajectories and policy guidance for deep transitions in the coal sector in major coal using countries.


    An overview over current publications can be downloaded here.

    Further information on current research activities are found on the member pages and the list of publications.


    Close Cooperation


    The junior research group CoalExit is led by Dr. Pao-Yu Oei. The research associates that are doing their Ph.D. studies in the context of the BMBF grant “global change” are Hanna BrauersIsabell BraungerThorsten BurandtChristian Hauenstein, and Konstantin Löffler. Further research associates that are integrated into the junior research group are  Paola A. Yanguas ParraFelipe Corral MontoyaAlexandra KrummCatharina Rieve, and Paula Walk. Furthermore, the work is supported by the research assistants Nora Stognief, Philipp Herpich, and Nicolas Malz. Further with the junior research group associated researchers are Roman Mendelevitch, Kerstin Mohr, and Andrea Furnaro. CoalExit is part of the Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy (WIP) at the University of Technology Berlin. Additionally, the junior research group will be supported by the four mentors: Prof. Dr. Christian von Hirschhausen, Prof. Dr. Claudia Kemfert, Prof. Dr. Klaus Eisenack and Dr. Franziska Holz. Existing cooperations with the fellow research institutes at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Hertie School of Governance (HSoG) help linking the work to other parallel research projects on similar topics.


    Contact information

    Europa-Universität Flensburg

    Munketoft 3b
    24943 Flensburg

    Tel. +49-(0)30-314-75846
    Email: clr [at]