EWI - a "knowledge factory"

The Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) is a non-profit organization (gGmbH). It sees itself as a knowledge factory that aims at creating, disseminating and utilizing new knowledge about increasingly complex energy markets. The energy world is currently undergoing dramatic change, with changing political and social conditions as well as new technologies and innovations. These changes raise complex questions for which EWI is seeking answers: through practical and agenda-neutral energy economics research.

The latest economics methods

Under the leadership of Annette Becker (Managing Director) and Prof. Dr. Marc Oliver Bettzüge (Director), a team of more than 40 employees prepares energy economic analyses with high practical relevance. In order to create the greatest possible gain in knowledge for science, energy policy and energy economic practice, the EWI applies the latest economic methods. In addition to economic-theoretical analyses, the focus is on the use and further development of quantitative methods. These include, in particular, detailed computer-based models of the European electricity and gas industries, but also of global energy markets such as coal and oil.

Research institution of the Cologne University Foundation

The Institute of Energy Economics is a research institution of the Cologne University Foundation. The institute has the legal form of a non-profit limited liability company and is a 100 percent subsidiary of the foundation. In addition to the EWI, the foundation also includes the (planned) Innovation and Start-up Center of the University of Cologne, which will include a test center for companies and their digital business models as well as an incubator for spin-offs. Both institutions, EWI and the Innovation and Start-up Center, are transfer institutions that bring ideas from the university into business and society.

Member of Johannes-Rau-Forschungsgemeinschaft (JRF)

Since January 1, 2022, the Institute of Energy Economics has been a member of the Johannes Rau Research Foundation (JRF) of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It comprises 16 state-funded, scientific institutes with around 1,500 employees in NRW and an annual turnover of over 100 million euros. The non-profit association was founded in 2014 as an umbrella organization for legally independent, non-university and non-profit research institutes. The JRF institutes work together across disciplines, conduct joint public relations work, promote young scientists and are evaluated by external reviewers. In addition to the scientific members, the state of NRW is a founding member, represented by the Ministry of Culture and Science.

Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board of the Institute of Energy Economics consists of up to nine members, who are delegated in equal thirds by the Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Energiewirtschaftlichen Instituts an der Universität zu Köln e. V. (Society of Benefactors of the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne), the government of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the University of Cologne.

The members of the Supervisory Board are:

  • Heike Heim (Chairwoman of the Management Board of Dortmunder Energie- und Wasserversorgung GmbH), Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board
  • Michael Geßner (Head of the Department for Energy Business, Nuclear Technology and Mining in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine Westphalia), Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board
  • Dr. Dietrich Gottwald (Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of the Cologne University Foundation), Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board
  • Volker Beckers (Chairman and non-Executive Director at various companies/institutions)
  • Dr. Kirsten Bender (Head of Department Innovation and Markets in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine Westphalia)
  • Prof. Dr. Ludwig Kuntz (Vice Rector for Planning and Finance at the University of Cologne)
  • MinDirig Michael Theben (Head of the Department for Climate Policy in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine Westphalia)
  • Dr. Ulrich Thonemann (Dean of the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne)
  • Dr. Frank Voßloh (General Manager at Viessmann Deutschland GmbH)

Scientific advisory board

The Supervisory Board of the Institute of Energy Economics has appointed following members of the Scientific Advisory Board as of June 16th, 2020 for an initial period of five years:

  • Dr. Dr. h. c. Christoph M. Schmidt (Professor of Economic Policy and Applied Econometrics at Ruhr University Bochum and President of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research Essen (Chairman))
  • Dr. Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof (Professor of German and Foreign Public Law, International Law and European Law at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and Director of the Düsseldorf Institute for Energy Law)
  • Dr. Andreas Löschel (Chair of Environmental/Resource Economics and Sustainability at the Ruhr University Bochum)
  • Dr. Shmuel Oren (Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of California at Berkeley (USA))
  • Dr. Karen Pittel (Professor of Economics, in particular Energy, Climate and Exhaustible Natural Resources, at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich and Director of the ifo Center for Energy, Climate and Resources)
  • Dr. Christoph Weber (Professor for Management Sciences and Energy Economics at the University Duisburg Essen)
  • Dr. Anke Weidlich (Professor for Control and Integration of Grids at the Albert Ludwig University Freiburg, Institute for Sustainable Technical Systems (INATECH))
  • Dr. Heike Wetzel (Professor for Applied Microeconomics and Empirical Energy Economics, Institute of Economics, University of Kassel)


The Institute of Energy Economics has an annual budget of around 2.5 million euros. Of this, around one third is provided by institutional funding from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, one third by publicly funded research projects and one third by consulting projects.

The EWI’s clients include public institutions such as the German federal government, the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, European authorities and private companies such as large energy suppliers as well as municipal utilities and associations. Around 10 percent of the budget is covered by project-linked grants from the EWI’s funding agency.