Schreuer, Anna | Austria

Anna Schreuer

Fellow at IAS-STS: 2014/15

Anna Schreuer studied mathematics at the University of Vienna and holds an MSc in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh. After completing her studies she worked in Vienna for the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI), FAS.research and the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien. From 2006-2013 she worked as a researcher at the Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture (IFZ) in the project area Energy and Climate in Graz. From 2013-2015 she was a senior scientist at the Institute of Science, Technology and Society studies at Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt. In May 2015 she successfully defended her PhD thesis on citizen owned wind farms and PV plants in Austria and Germany. Two years earlier, she received the Theodor Körner prize for her thesis, a prize that is awarded for outstanding work-in-progress projects by young researchers and artists in Austria. As a university lecturer she has taught classes on social innovation as well as social science perspectives on climate change. Her main fields of interest include sustainability transitions and grassroots innovations, focussing especially on civil society engagement in energy issues and transitions towards sustainable mobility practices.


Project at IAS-STS: The emergence and diffusion of citizen power plants in Austria and Germany

With rising concerns over ecological sustainability as well as security of supply, the energy system has come under increasing pressure over the last years and various efforts have been made aiming at a transition towards more sustainable systems of energy provision. These transition processes not only include the diffusion of new technologies, but often also involve new forms of social organisation.
At the grassroots level this has included the establishment of energy cooperatives and other forms of collective citizen ownership of renewable energy technologies. In my research I am looking at the emergence and diffusion of collectively owned green electricity plants (‘citizen power plants’) in Austria and Germany. Understanding them as a grassroots innovation helps to explore ways in which the ideas and practices developed by such bottom-up initiatives have established themselves, but also how they have changed and have been reinterpreted along the way.


Transition to sustainability mobility practices

In addition to her research on citizen power plants, Anna Schreuer is developing a research agenda on transitions to sustainable mobility practices. Her main interest lies in an examination of the ways in which mobility practices are destabilized and re-ordered around key life-Events.



Selected Publications

Schreuer, Anna (2015) Dealing with the diffusion challenges of grassroots innovations: the case of citizen power plants in Austria and Germany, PhD thesis, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Institute of Science, Technology and Society Studies.

Schreuer, Anna (2013) ‘The Rise of Citizen Power Plants in Austria and Germany: How do they emerge and spread?’, Grassroots Innovations Research Briefings No. 18, March 2013, University of East Anglia and University of Sussex.

Wächter, Petra, Michael Ornetzeder, Harald Rohracher, Anna Schreuer and Markus Knoflacher (2012) ‘Towards a Sustainable Spatial Organization of the Energy System: Backcasting Experiences from Austria’, Sustainability, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 193-209.

Schreuer, Anna, Michael Ornetzeder and Harald Rohracher (2010) ‘Negotiating the local embedding of socio-technical experiments: A case study in fuel cell technology’, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 729-743.

Schreuer, Anna, Harald Rohracher and Philipp Späth eds. (2010) ‘Transforming the energy system: The role of institutions, interests and ideas’, special issue of Technology Analysis & Strategic Management Vol. 22 No. 6.

Schreuer, Anna, Harald Katzmair and Christian Gulas (2010) ‘Analysing the regional innovation system of renewable energy technologies in Styria: Actor constellations and innovation system functions’, paper presented at the ERSCP-EMSU conference, Delft, 25-29 October 2010.

Schreuer, A. and Weismeier-Sammer, D. (2010) Energy cooperatives and local ownership in the field of renewable energy technologies: A literature review, RiCC research report 2010/4, Dietmar Roessl (ed.), RiCC - Research Institute for Co-operation and Co-operatives, Vienna.


I spent a few months at the IAS-STS in 2015 after having completed my PhD. It provided me with an excellent environment to review and edit some chapters of my thesis for publication in journals. I had been previously employed at IFZ, the hosting organization of the fellowship programme, so I was not new to Graz or to the institute. Nevertheless I highly valued the friendly and inspiring working atmosphere at IAS-STS and very much enjoyed the international setting.