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Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) at the University of Cologne


The Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) sees itself as a knowledge factory: It creates knowledge about increasingly complex energy markets and makes it available to politics, industry and the public. he EWI stands for practical, energy-economically founded and agenda-neutral research and analyses.

In addition to research projects, the EWI also conducts studies for public institutions such as the Federal Government, the State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia and European authorities as well as for private companies. The institute is headed by Annette Becker and Prof. Dr. Marc Oliver Bettzüge.

Main Competences

The EWI works with the latest methods and models, in addition to economic-theoretical analyses, above all modern quantitative methods. These include in particular detailed computer-based models of the European electricity and gas industry, but also of global energy markets. These methods are constantly being further developed at the institute, in close cooperation with various chairs of the WiSo Faculty and the University of Cologne.

Current focal points of the work include the simulation of current and future energy systems, questions of regulatory economics and market design as well as the digitalisation of the energy industry, in particular the use of machine learning methods for the better control of energy logistics.

Cooperation and Networking

Important cooperation partners in the WiSo Faculty are the Chair of Energy Economics (Prof. Dr. Marc Oliver Bettzüge) as well as the Areas of Microeconomics, Information Systems and, perspectively, Corporate Development. Furthermore, the EWI closely cooperates with the Institute of Energy Law (EWIR) of the Faculty of Law and the Institute of Meteorology of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Beyond the University of Cologne, the EWI cooperates in many different ways with other scientific institutions, such as the Jülich Research Centre, various chairs at the RWTH Aachen and TU Dortmund Universities, the Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies.

In addition, the EWI is a member of the Johannes Rau Research Foundation (JRF) of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia since 1 January 2022. The JRF comprises 16 state-funded scientific institutes. The JRF institutes work together across disciplines, conduct joint public relations work, promote young scientists and are evaluated by external experts.

Scientists from all over the world are regular guests at the EWI. Since 1948, the EWI organises the widely acclaimed annual EWI Energy Conference. Besides, the Institute organises a large number of practice- and science-related events, including a regular international summer school for doctoral students.


The EWI was founded in 1943 on the initiative of Prof. Dr. Theodor Wessels and Dr. Fritz Burgbacher (from the energy supplier Rhenag AG) as a public-private partnership between the University of Cologne and companies in the energy industry. Today the EWI is a non-profit research institution of the Cologne University Foundation.

EWI Directors

Theodor Wessels (1943-1970) was succeeded as director by Hans-Karl Schneider (1970-1986), Carl-Christian von Weizsäcker (1986-2003), Axel Ockenfels (2003-2007), Marc Oliver Bettzüge (2007 to date), Felix Höffler (2011-2019) and Wolfgang Ketter (2016-2021). All directors of the EWI were and are full-time professors at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne.