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Coal in global energy: Looking back at the EWI Energy Debate

9 April 2019 | In germany and other European countries, the elimination of coal-fired generation is an important climate policy goal. However, it is still the main energy source for global electricity generation, helping to drive economic growth in emerging markets. This year's EWI Energy Debate addressed instruments to reduce the dependency on coal and discussed the German coal phase out in the context of global market developments. More than 100 people were interested in the debate.

After EWI director - and moderator of the evening - Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ketter had welcomed the guests, Max Schönfisch and Max Gierkink presented institute's research results: By a comparative scenario analysis, EWI studied effects of the German coal phase out, as proposed by the commission "Growth, structural change and employment". One aspect became very clear: Whereas in the reference scenario, the national climate target in the energy sector for 2030 is clearly missed, reducing national emissions by phasing out coal will enable the energy sector to achieve its 2030 greenhouse gas target [see presentation for download].

After that, Dr. Mark C. Thurber, Associate Director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University, presented his new book "Coal", about why coal has thus far remained the preeminent fuel for electricity generation around the world, despite its negative impacts on local air quality and the global climate. He emphasized the role of emerging economies in global climate policy [see presentation for download].

Prof. Dr. Axel Ockenfels (University of Cologne) identified the failure of international climate cooperation as biggest problem. He stated that reciprocity is the key, and carbon pricing would be the best instrument to promote it. In the following panel discussion, Prof. Dr. Marc Oliver Bettzüge, also EWI director, emphasized that there is way too few discussion about the distribution of costs of the energy transition and the social dimension behind.

[Agenda]

EWI receives new organizational structure and new funding

19 February 2019 | The Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) further develops its academic and organizational installation. Since fall 2018, EWI forms a new gemeinnützige GmbH that will further proceed as well as develop all activities of ewi Energy Research & Scenarios gGmbh (ewi ER&S). The new legal structure enables an institutional funding of the renowned institute by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MWIDE) from 2019 on. The state’s support helps secure the institute’s basic funding and can amount up to 800,000 euro per year.

One main new focus will be the technical, economic and regulatory future challenges of a decentralized, digitalized energy industry. All current activities will be carried on at the known, high level. The new EWI gGmbH is currently lead by its temporary Managing Director, Prof. Marc Oliver Bettzüge. Dr. Christina Elberg, previous Managing Director of ewi ER&S, moved to Innogy in Essen at 1st January 2019 – at her own request and in mutual amicable agreement. [Press release EWI] [Press release NRW (in German)]

EWI trauert um Prof. Dr. Felix Höffler

Prof. Dr. Felix Höffler

12 Februar 2019 | Das EWI trauert um seinen Direktor Prof. Dr. Felix Höffler, der am 4. Februar 2019 nach längerer, schwerer Krankheit verstorben ist. 

Felix Höffler wurde im Jahr 2011 zum Professor für wirtschaftliche Staatswissenschaften an der Universität zu Köln und zum Direktor des EWI ernannt. Im Jahr 2016 übernahm er zusätzlich noch das Amt des Direktors des Instituts für Wirtschaftspolitik (iwp) an unserer Universität. Er hat diese Ämter mit höchstem wissenschaftlichen Anspruch, persönlicher Geradlinigkeit und ausgeprägter Orientierung am jeweiligen Wohl des Ganzen ausgeübt. Sein Wirken am EWI hat das Ansehen des Instituts sowie dessen wissenschaftliche Leistungsfähigkeit in hohem Maße gemehrt. Insbesondere seine vielen erfolgreichen Doktorandinnen und Doktoranden sind ihm zu großem Dank verpflichtet. 

Seine schwere Erkrankung hat Felix Höffler mit einer bewundernswerten Haltung getragen, und er hat sich mit größtem Verantwortungsbewusstsein bis zuletzt in die Aktivitäten des Instituts eingebracht. 

Wir verlieren einen herausragenden Ökonomen, einen großartigen Kollegen und Mentor und einen einzigartigen Menschen. Wir werden ihn vermissen und ihm stets ein ehrendes Angedenken bewahren. Unser tief empfundenes Mitgefühl gilt seiner Familie, die nach einem Leidensweg nun viel zu früh auf ihn verzichten muss.

Prof. Dr. Marc Oliver Bettzüge, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ketter als Direktoren des EWI mit allen Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern

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