The Climate and Energy Model Region (CEM) approach is an instrument to achieve Austrias climate and energy goal of 34% energy from Renewable Energy Sources (RES) by 2020, while at the same time pursuing regional development. The CEM approach supports Austrian regions distributed throughout Austria in fostering RES and in becoming energy self-sufficient. Regional development by fostering RES technologies has been proved to be an appropriate strategy in literature and has shown positive economic effects, but also has been criticized as overly optimistic regarding unrecognized macro-economic feedback effects. Hence, the research question of this thesis is twofold: First, which economic framework conditions affect the CEMs feasibility to achieve energy self-sufficiency and how should a future CEM look like, to achieve the highest possible environmental and economic benefits by limited financial resources. Second, how does an increased RES deployment of CEMs affect not only the different CEMs but also the overall Austrian economy.By using a cluster analysis, based on empirical economic data, three homogenous CEM clusters can be identified. The suburban cluster is characterized by the highest population density and Gross Value Added (GVA) per capita, the largest share of employees in the tertiary sector, and the smallest heat and electricity self-sufficiency potentials. The semi-rural and rural clusters are quite similar, but differ regarding smaller heat-self-sufficiency potentials and smaller primary sector employment shares in the semi-rural cluster.The macroeconomic effects in the three CEM clusters are investigated with a spatial multi-sectoral Computable General Equilibrium (CGE), which is deployed for two different policy scenarios, an ambitious one with 100% RES electricity in CEMs (Scenario 1), and a less ambitious one, at least 50% RES electricity scenario (Scenario 2), compared to Business as Usual (BAU) in 2020. We find an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a reduction in Austrian aggregate output in both scenarios, while employment increases in Scenario 2. Regarding aggregate production, the rural CEM cluster and the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery sector are the regional and sectoral winner, while the Gas, Mining and Electricity sectors and the Rest of Austria model region are the sectoral and regional losers. The results show the CEM approaches ability for fostering rural development, as GDP and energy from RES can be increased, while there are trade-offs involved. Hence, we identify rural, agricultural, and forestry dominated regions as most suitable for the CEM approach, which should be selected as new CEMs in the future. In addition, the CEM approach as no-regret strategy would require a faster technological change or a focus on more economically competitive RES technologies.