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Energy Economics


Prof. Dr. Wolf Fichtner

Secretariat: Corinna Feiler, Michaela Gantner-Müller
Links: Institute for Industrial Production (IIP)

The research group Energy Economics (EE) headed by Prof. Dr. Wolf Fichtner analyses services along the whole energy supply chain, from primary energy supply, over energy conversion and energy transport to energy distribution and energy use. The rearrangement of the energy system as a result of the ambitious targets concerning the expansion of renewable energy on a European as well as on a national level, accompanied by the trend towards an increasingly decentralised energy supply structure, has a significant impact on the future development of energy service requirements and, consequently, constitutes a particular challenge. For instance, the effects resulting from a conversion of traditional energy suppliers to energy service providers are of special interest in this context. Thus, a special emphasis is on short-, medium-, and long-term techno-economic analysis and evaluation of energy systems following an interdisciplinary approach since such system analyses involve not only economic criteria, but also aspects of engineering, IT or social sciences. The research group particularly focuses on the development of methods and concepts in the fields of decentralised market mechanisms as well as electric mobility.

The field of decentralised market mechanisms is driven by the increasing decentralisation of energy systems in particular as a result of the promotion of renewable energies. Research concerns different possible developments from existing central market structures to distributed systems focusing on appropriate market integrations of local energy supply and demand. Therefore, research concentrates on the analysis of changes in local energy supply and demand, the impact of these changes on low voltage grids and new market mechanisms to cope with the resulting challenges. In this context questions regarding future market designs, the integration of households via dedicated electricity tariffs as well as future market participants, including the services and business models they offer, are of special interest.

In the field of electric mobility the impacts of electric vehicles on energy systems and material flows is in the focus of our socio-, techno-economic and interdisciplinary research. This does not only concern interrelations with smart grids, but research questions in the context of the charging process as e.g. localisation of charging stations, navigation, reservation, identification, authentication, billing, roaming, etc. Equally, services are getting more and more important with the implementation of new mobility concepts (cf. Mobility 2.0). Furthermore, we evaluate and develop business concepts within this context.

In its projects the group Energy Economics cooperates closely with manifold international partners, mostly from Europe and North America. A variety of application-oriented as well as fundamental research projects on behalf of or in cooperation with public authorities, industry or (scientific) foundations – such as the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the European Commission, the Helmholtz Association or the German Research Foundation (DFG) – underline experience in applying scientifically sound methods to practical problems.