Research Projects

EnergyCampus Nuremberg

The transition to renewable energy sources requires a reorganization of markets. Regulatory measures and the basic conditions of energy trading have a major impact not only on the immediate behavior of the actors in the market and energy prices, but in the long run also on investment incentives and innovation activities. As a result, our analyses include investment and innovation incentives for generation capacities, storages and the transmission network. In particular, the research sector “Energy Market Design” of the EnCN addresses the effects of economic and climate policy decisions on security of supply, the technology mix in generation capacities, the development of energy prices and long-term chances and risks of different technologies. In this process, researchers work with mixed methods consisting of theoretical studies and numeric energy market models supported by experiments and empirical analyses.


Flexible Demand in the German Electricity Market

In this research project, we analyze investment incentives for flexible manufacturing facilities within the energy market system. We propose a multi-stage equilibrium model which incorporates generation capacity investment, network expansion and redispatch, and include enhancements regarding a flexible production approach. The model allows to investigate incentives for flexible production as well as locational choices and the impact of flexible energy demand on the energy market as a whole. In particular, we explore the profitability of flexible production units for different shares of flexible energy consumers in the electricity market. Furthermore, we examine from which point on flexible production units will have a considerable influence on energy price development and the extent to which price fluctuations will be mitigated by flexible consumption.


Decentralization and cellular optimization – Impacts on network expansion

Facing the current debate about the energy transition, in this project we investigate flexible demand options as well as changed market designs and conditions as an alternative to network expansion. Further, the optimal technology mix as well as locational choice of renewable energy generation will be determined endogenously. This project will be the basis to enhance the process of network expansion systematically and to include approaches and flexibility options which have been neglected so far.



Within the cooperative project SWARM between the N-ERGIE AG and the Energy Campus Nuremberg (EnCN), the chair of economic theory deals with investment incentives in innovative energy storage systems of private households and the influence of these storages on the supply grid. Further, we investigate the economic advantages they provide to supply system operators or households.
The overall goal of the research activities within the SWARM project is to gain knowledge about connected distributed energy storages (swarm storage) running as one virtual electricity storage.


Smart Grid Solar

Since the Energy Market Liberalization, all the various decisions regarding the optimal energy supply in Germany are no longer made by fully integrated power supply companies. Instead, decisions are made by different market participants in a decentralized way. Beyond the economical optimization of the interaction between grid, suppliers, storages and consumers, a key question is, to what extent the current market design coupled with policy control mechanisms (e.g. the EEG regulations) actually reaches the implementation of the optimal system via the various decisions of all market participants.
The core of the economic analysis evaluates the implementation of a smart grid system considering all relevant market participants within different political frameworks in a quantitative way. Comparing the optimal solutions derived by the work package optimization and simulation enables an identification of the necessary changes in the market design and the legal framework.


Collective Bargaining and Equal Pay

Compared to men the earnings of women in Europe are still significantly lower. With identical qualification and occupation female workers in Germany earn on average 8% less than their male counterparts (adjusted wage gap). If qualification and occupation are not regarded the difference in the mean income is about 23% (unadjusted wage gap).
This huge difference is mainly due to the fact that women are much more often employed in jobs at the lower end of the wage distribution and that they have longer and more frequent family related employment interruptions than men. Until now collective bargaining has not achieved any lasting improvements for those occupations which are mostly held by women. According to the German Minister for Family Affairs Kristina Schröder “we need a debate about what role a fair chance and fair pay for women actually play in collective bargaining. If we want to decrease the income gap between men and women we have to look at the causes of discrimination against women in the working world” (Press release from 03-22-2012).
This project attempts to contribute to this debate. By means of economic experiments we try to investigate the effects that collective bargaining has on the wage gap, and how an increase of transparency could affect the extent of such effects. Collective bargaining relates to any situation in which representatives of a group deal on wages for this group; collective bargaining between unions and employers associations is the most important variant.


Taxation, Social Norms, and Compliance

The goal of the project ‘Taxation, Social Norms, and Compliance: Lessons for Institution Design’ is to foster research on individual and social determinants of tax compliance. In particular, the project aims to investigate the role institutions and social and cultural norms play for tax compliance. With regard to formal institutions, the project considers the design of tax systems as well the role of tax administration and of tax accounting. Special attention is paid to social and cultural norms, an aspect which is crucial given the great impact these have on fairness and on the individual’s perception of other taxpayers’ behaviour. Finally, the project also includes several sub-projects that focus on behavioural economics, exploring the preferences and the decision behaviour of individual taxpayers.


Experimental Validation of Indicators of Manager Behavior in Business Surveys

[Project abstract will follow soon]