Project Goals

Polycentricity, Digital Transformation, Financing


The project focuses on the transition from a centralized to a decentralized energy system and the question of new forms of control that can support this. What are the potentials and obstacles of self-organization for decentralized actors? What structural changes are needed within the institutions involved and how can a large number of actors be successfully and efficiently (digitally) involved? Based on existing research on polycentric governance, the researchers are investigating two particularly relevant influences in the transformation as key topics:

Digitalization and financing. In the area of digitalization, the question is how digitalization is changing the governance of the energy transition and, in particular, to what extent digital technologies in the energy sector enable polycentric approaches. How can the energy transition be financed? The research team is examining legal framework conditions, institutions and actors, and in particular shedding light on possible financing solutions.


Options for Action, Recommendations, Tools


Specifically, SteuerBoard Energie is working on the following overarching research questions:


  • How can a polycentrically controlled energy system be designed for sustainable development?
  • What can digitalization and financing of the energy system contribute to this?
  • To what extent does a self-organization of the acting decentral stakeholders lead to a high mobilisation of the population and at the same time meet the complex challenges of a decentralized energy system?
  • Which institutions need to be modified, for example with regard to cities and financial organizations, and what form should these take?
  • How can a large number of actors be efficiently integrated digitally and thus lead to an acceleration of decentralisation?


The project is developing handouts for different actors, such as short summary recommendations for political actors, transformation paths to sustainable polycentric governance for social actors and recommendations and tools for improving business models and decision-making processes for practical actors.