Shaping the development of renewable energies in line with spatial constraints - Development of a GIS-based evaluation tool using the example of the planning region Northern Thuringia

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Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis, September 2011 until July 2017 (finished)


Institute of Architecture and Planning

Main Research

Sustainable Planning and Construction

Field of Research

Sustainable Urban Design


This PhD-project focuses on combining "space" and "energy". Against the background of the imminent energy transition the use of renewable energies is increasingly gaining in importance. As a result many conflicts arise over land utilization. In order to resolve resulting challenges, different levels of spatial planning have to reconciled and coordinated.

The principal objective of this work is to develop a GIS-based assessment system that collects, processes and visualizes all relevant geographically referenced data so that informed decisions about sustainable energy planning can be reached.

The project will investigate
  • the spatial impact of a maximum expansion of renewable energy potential
  • synergies, but also conflicts with other land uses
  • how the expansion of renewable energies can be promoted and managed compatibly with the help of existing or new regional planning instruments.

The PhD-Thesis is part of the University of Liechtenstein´s research focus "Sustainable Urban Design and Planning". As model region for the inquiry and the development of the evaluation system serves the Planning Region Northern Thuringia.


Renewable energy, Regional Planning, Geografic Information System GIS, Spatial Planning Instruments