Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universität zu Köln gGmbH


Max Schönfisch, M.Sc.

Max Schönfisch

is Research Associate at EWI since 2016 and doctoral candidate at the University of Cologne. In consulting projects for a wide range of clients from industry and the public sector, he has analysed developments on the electricity and natural gas markets and their impact on clients’ strategic and business interests. In addition to companies in the energy sector he has also advised, among others, the British Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). His research focus lies on the potential role of hydrogen in the global energy markets. Before joining EWI, Max Schönfisch studied Governance and Public Policy at the University of Passau (Germany) as well as Energy Economics at the University of Dundee (United Kingdom).



+49 221 - 277 29-208
Curriculum Vitae


Client: Nord Stream 2 AG

Impact of infrastructure investments such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on the European gas market

As part of a study (Chapter 4.3), EWI quantifies the economic effects of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline using the European gas infrastructure model TIGER. The results of the simulation show that Nord Stream 2 will increase the supply of gas to Europe and thus reduce prices for European consumers. At the same time, it is shown that gas transits through Ukraine will continue to play an important role in the future and contribute to supplying Europe with gas at the lowest possible cost. The study was conducted in cooperation with Frontier Economics and commissioned by Nord Stream 2 AG.

Client: Own publication of the Virtual Institute Smart Energy (VISE)

VISE Policy Brief No. 9: Aggregation of households in (regional) virtual power plants: Regulatory framework and hurdles

Regional virtual power plants (RVPPs) are virtual power plants located behind a single distribution network node. They market the flexibility of households by centrally controlling their generation, storage and consumption devices. These can be, for example, PV systems with battery home storage, heat pumps or micro-CHP systems with thermal storage or electric vehicles with smart chargers. RVPP operators can aggregate these units and market them on the wholesale market for electricity and, if applicable, the balancing power market.

In principle, RVPPs can be operated economically. However, the current regulatory framework in Germany has a considerable impact on which business models are possible at all and how profitable they may be.

Restrictions result in particular from the so-called final consumer status and the associated levies, charges and taxes on household electricity tariffs. The tariff structure makes storage operations involving the withdrawal from and re-injection of electricity into grid uneconomical. The only way to remedy this situation would be a complete netting of all levies, charges and taxes incurred during withdrawal from and re-injection into the grid. However, business models that rely solely on shifting household consumption in order to market the flexibility resulting flexibility are possible: household electricity tariffs are usually time-invariant and relying only on load shifting avoids an additional exchange of electricity with the grid and thus the associated levies, taxes and fees. Additional revenue opportunities also arise from potential direct marketing activities for owners of electricity generation plants subsidised under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) or the Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG).

Client: International Energy Agency (IEA)

IEA Market Report Series: Coal 2019

The report finds that the rebound in global coal demand continued in 2018, driven by growth in coal power generation, which reached an all-time high. Although coal power generation is estimated to have declined in 2019, this appears to have resulted from particular circumstances in some specific regions and is unlikely to be the start of a lasting trend. Global coal demand is expected to remain broadly stable over the next five years, supported by robust growth in major Asian markets.

Client: Own publication

The Trilateral Gas Talks: What would an interruption of Russian gas exports via Ukraine mean for EU consumers?

Gas supplies are secured for this winter – even if the current negotiations between the EU Commission, the Russian company Gazprom and the Ukrainian company Naftogaz over gas supplies from Russia via Ukraine to Europe should fail. Ten years after the Russian-Ukrainian gas conflict, the current gas supply contract expires at the end of the year. In a study entitled “The Trilateral Gas Talks: What would an interruption of Russian gas exports via Ukraine mean for EU consumers?”, EWI examined how a failure of the negotiations and a resulting interruption of gas supplies, as in 2009, would affect consumers in Europe.

Client: International Energy Agency (IEA)

IEA Market Report Series: Coal 2018

Working Paper

Analysing the Impact of a Renewable Hydrogen Quota on the European Electricity and Natural Gas Markets

David Schlund, Max Schönfisch
March 2021

Estimating Long-Term Global Supply Costs for Low-Carbon Hydrogen

Max Schönfisch, Gregor Brändle, Dr. Simon Schulte
November 2020


Nord Stream 2 und das ukrainische Gastransportsystem: Beide sind wichtig für eine kosteneffiziente Erdgasversorgung

Simon Schulte, David Schlund, Max Schönfisch; 2020
In: et - Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen, Ausgabe 5/2020.

Die trilateralen Gasgespräche

Simon Schulte, Eren Çam, Max Schönfisch; 2019
In: et - Energiwirtschaftliche Tagesfragen, Vol. 69 (12), 2019, pp. 65-66.

Die Bedeutung des Rheins im deutschen Energiesystem

Max Schönfisch, Simon Schulte; 2019
In: et - Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen, Vol. 69 (4), 2019, pp. 45-46.

Geschäftsmodelle zur Einbindung dezentraler Anlagen auf Haushaltsebene in Virtuelle Kraftwerke

Georg Holtz, Samir Jeddi, Johannes Fleer, Sascha Birk, Max Schönfisch, Dietmar Lindenberger, Thorsten Schneiders; 2019
In: et - Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen, Vol. 69 (3), 2019, pp. 33-36.

Aktuelle Entwicklungen auf den Kohle- und Gasmärkten und ihre Rückwirkungen auf die Merit Order

Harald Hecking, Eren Çam, Max Schönfisch, Simon Schulte; 2017
In: et - Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen, Vol. 67 (6), pp. 34-38.

Policy Briefs

Dr. Simon Schulte, Max Schönfisch, Gregor Brändle; 2021
Wasserstoff: Bezugsoptionen für Deutschland – Kostenvergleich von importiertem und lokal produziertem CO2-armen Wasserstoff

Misc Publications

Gregor Brändle, Max Schönfisch, Dr. Simon Schulte; 2020
Estimating Long-Term Global Supply Costs for Low-Carbon Hydrogen
In the research paper "Estimating Long-Term Global Supply Costs for Low-Carbon Hydrogen", EWI researchers have calculated the long-term supply costs of low-carbon hydrogen for 90 countries. The EWI Policy Brief "Hydrogen: Supply Options for Germany" deals with conclusions that can be drawn for Germany.

Consulting Projects

Framework contract for energy policy consulting services
Entwicklung der Kohleverstromung in Europa
E-Mobility: Infrastruktur an der Schnittstelle von Automobil- und Energiewirtschaft
Szenarienentwicklung und Modellierung des europäischen Stromsektors
Energieszenarien für ein Energieversorgungsunternehmen
Das ökonomische Potenzial eines Power2Heat-Speichers im Industriesektor
Developments on UK electricity markets
Impacts of further Single Electricity Market reform and integration on Great Britain and the European Union

Research Projects