Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics

Dissertation of Melf-Hinrich Ehlers

Diffusion of Agricultural Bioenergy Utilisation at Regional Levels in Germany: Actor motivations and institutional change

Start: April 08
End: April 14

“Diffusion of agricultural bioenergy utilisation at regional levels in Germany: actor motivations and institutional change” – this is the working title of a PhD Dissertation, which investigates the emergence of an agricultural biogas sector at regional levels in Germany since 1980. It focuses specifically on actor’s reasons for their involvements at regional and local level and change of institutions that structure the sector as a resource-using rural economy. Case study material from a west-German and an east-German region, consisting of predominantly qualitative interview data provides the empirical basis of an institutional economic analysis of ecological, technological, institutional and behavioural patterns that are constitutive for the sector at regional and local levels in terms of initiation, diffusion, (re)structuring of activities and property rights, and sustainability. The results of the analysis will indicate reasons for the emergence and change of the biogas sector over time and possible evolutionary pathways. On a more general level, they should be transferable to processes of utilisation of natural resources in similar settings, where infant technologies are used and environmental impacts are contested.

Researcher: Melf-Hinrich Ehlers

Cooperation Partners:

Advisors: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn

Funding: Stipendium des Nachwuchsförderungsgesetz des Landes Berlin (NaföG)

Publications and Presentations: see