Is the coal phase-out coming sooner than expected?

The news outlet RBB reports on LEAG's decision to adjust its plans for the coal phase-out in Cottbus. The company plans to produce even less coal than expected, which could lead to an earlier exit. Prof. Müsgens comments on this decision and talks about the difficulties for coal-fired power plants to remain profitable at current and projected energy prices.

You can access the news hier.

Iegor Riepin and Prof. Felix Müsgens have published a research article on "Seasonal Flexibility in the European Natural Gas Market" in The Energy Journal

The authors focus on seasonal demand swings in the European natural gas market. They quantify the role of different flexibility options (domestic production, gas storage, and pipeline and LNG imports) that are used to cover European demand fluctuations. This work contributes to the existing literature on seasonal flexibility by addressing the problem with a mathematical gas market optimization model. The paper provides valuable empirical insights into the decline of gas production in northwestern Europe. Furthermore, the authors propose a new metric to quantify the importance of supply sources for seasonal flexibility provision.

You can find the article here: The Energy Journal, Vol. 43, No. 1. 2022. An executive summary is available on this link. The applied GAMS code and associated input data are available in a public GitHub repository.

Hydrogen supply becomes a reality in the Lausitz

The news outlet RBB covers the plans for future green hydrogen station in the Lausitz. Prof. Müsgens gives a short comment on the importance of hydrogen in the energy transition.

You can access the video here.

Why is Germany’s energy transition so expensive?

This is the question Thorsten Engelhorn and Prof. Müsgens answer in their latest paper  "Why is Germany’s energy transition so expensive? Quantifying the costs of wind-energy decentralization" published in Resource and Energy Economics.

Some of their conclusions include:

  • Variations in (annual average) wind speeds are high even within countries. 
  • One argument in favor of building a strong transmission grid for electricity: it allows using the best wind sites. 
  • In the period from 2000 to 2015, the same annual amount of electricity from wind energy in Germany could have been produced at lower costs for turbines (saving up to 30%), lower land use (saving also up to 30%) and significantly less installed turbines (up to 40% less).

You can read the full paper here (Free of charge for the next 50 days)

Prof. Felix Müsgens is one of 21 renowned scientists appointed by 50Hertz to its Scientific Advisory & Project Board (SAPB)

The "Scientific Advisory & Project Board" was established to provide 50Hertz with innovative solutions for a greenhouse gas-neutral future in an interdisciplinary manner and work on them in concrete research and development projects.
The boeard has started to work and discuss the topics of energy scenarios and system security during their workshops. The members of the board hope to dwelve into these topics further in the coming months, provide expertise and recommendations for 50Hertz’s different specialist departments through joint interdisciplinary research and development projects.

Follow this Link to read 50Hertz announcemen and this Link to access SAPB's website.

Article published: Modelling uncertainty in coupled electricity and gas systems—is it worth the effort?

We are excited to share news that Iegor Riepin, Thomas Möbius and Felix Müsgens published an article on „Modelling uncertainty in coupled electricity and gas systems—is it worth the effort?” in Applied Energy journal. The authors study a trade-off effect between the complexity and precision arising from combining an optimization problem for the integrated electricity and gas system models and stochastic optimization techniques useful to capture multiple uncertainties existing in both systems. The authors analyze and compare the impact of uncertain factors, such as gas and electricity demand, renewable energy capacities and fuel and CO2 prices, on the quality of the solution obtained in the integrated optimization problem. Thus, the paper quantifies the value of encoding uncertainty as a part of an integrated energy system model. Such methodological contribution will be of interest for energy modelers, while findings of the paper are relevant for industry experts and stakeholders with an empirical interest in the European energy markets.

You can find the article here: Applied Energy. A free-access version is available on this link until 11 March.

Prof. Dr. Felix Müsgens will speak at the ENERGIE.CROSS.MEDIAL 2021 conference

On March 02, 2021 from 13:00 - 14:30 Prof. Felix Müsgens will participate in an online panel discussion on "Energy Systems of the Future - Electrons, Molecules, Bits, Euros and People" at the Energie Cross Medial 2021 conference. The conference will take place on March 2 and 3, 2021 in Berlin as a hybrid event.

Follow the link to check out the conference program.

Special Issue on Offshore Wind Energy in Energies

Motivated by cost degressions and an overall increasing importance of offshore wind energy to decarbonize energy systems, the open access journal Energies is preparing a special issue on the Economics of Offshore Wind. The guest editors are Lena Kitzing, Felix Müsgens, and Dr. Thomas Telsnig. The call is now open.

Themenmagazin - Wirtschaft im Dialog reports on the academy project "Energy Systems of the Future" (ESYS)

You can find the link to the article here (only available in German)

Prof. Felix Müsgens at the Radio Cottbus

On Feb. 2nd at 8:40 am, Prof. Felix Müsgens is invited to Radio Cottbus to discusses the German Energy Transition.

Prof. Felix Müsgens as speaker of the Public Online Lecture Series of the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg

on January 13th and as part of the Public Online Lecture Series of the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Prof. Felix Müsgens discussed Germany's energy transition in and its effects on Lusatia.

The energy transition pursues the goal of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is changing the energy system from the ground up. Generation from centralized large-scale power plants using fossil fuels is being replaced by decentralized plants that produce electricity depending on the weather. Lusatia, with its focus on power generation, is particularly affected by this development. The lecture provides an overview on the topic, lists criteria for the evaluation of the development and discusses advantages and disadvantages.

You can watch the presentation on our YouTube channel and access the slides on the following link. (only available in German)

"Open BTU" sheds light on how the energy transition in Germany is affecting the Lusatia region

Public online lecture series of the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 5:30 p.m., with Prof. Felix Müsgens. Prof. Müsgens will talk about the  topic “The energy transition in Germany and its effects on Lusatia”.

All those who are interested are welcome to attend. The event is free of charge. Access to the online lecture hall can be found at Participation is possible without prior registration. The lecture will be held in German.

Online-Workshop on Short Term Renewable Energy Forecasting

The Chair of Energy Economics at the Brandenburg University of Technology is organizing an Online-Workshop on Short Term Renewable Energy Forecasting, scheduled for 10.12.2020 (10:00-15:00).

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof. Dr. Oliver Grothe, Department of Analytics and Statistics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Prof. Dr. Gernot Müller, Chair for Computational Statistics and Data Analysis at University of Augsburg
  • Dr. Sven F. Crone, Department of Management Science, Lancaster University Management School, UK
  • Dominik Beinert, Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology
  • Dr. Dragana Nikodinoska, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg
  • Dr. Mathias Käso, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg

The workshop will be divided into two parts: best industry practices (applied focus) and methodologies (theoretical focus).

Please refer to the workshop program for further details.

Prof. Müsgens as an expert in the Bundestag Committee for Economics and Energy

On November 16, 2020, Prof. Müsgens was invited to the public hearing of the Bundestag Committee for Economic Affairs and Energy to comment on the federal government's draft law to amend the Bundesbedarfsplangesetz.

With the planned amendment to the law, the federal government wants to ensure an acceleration of the recorded planning and approval procedures for network expansion projects at the high-voltage transmission network level.

The written statement of Prof. Müsgens and a recording of the event can be found here.

Presentation at the 40th International Symposium on Forecasting

From Oct 25 - Nov 5, 2020, the 40th International Symposium on Forecasting took place virtually. As part of this online conference, Dr. Dragana Nikodinoska had the opportunity to give a talk about “Short-term Wind and Solar Power Generation Forecasts using Elastic Net in Time-Varying Forecast Combination” during the Session on Renewable Energy.

Research results on market design from the Academies’ project ESYS have been published

The energy transition is progressing, but the electricity market design is lagging behind. With the shift towards climate-friendly alternatives in transportation and heating, the demand for green electricity is growing. In this context, the promotion of wind and solar energy as well as the efforts to expand the grid are not enough. The academy project “Energy Systems of the Future” (in German „Energiesysteme der Zukunft“), in which Prof. Müsgens and Prof. Hartmut Weyer (Clausthal University of Technology) lead the working group “Electricity Market Design”, presents two proposals for a new market design that promotes sector coupling and effectively manages network congestion.

The statement "Pricing CO2, restructuring taxes and side payments" poses the question how a stronger integration of the electricity, heating and transport sectors can contribute to the greening of the overall system. Prof. Müsgens explains: “If the income from CO2 pricing is used to reduce taxes and levies that burden low-emission electricity generation, a twofold benefit can be achieved. First, the CO2 pricing corrects the externality of greenhouse gas emissions, which also means that climate-friendly technologies benefit. Second, it generates an income that can be used to relieve the burden of companies facing international competition and private households."

The final presentation on the topic "Pricing CO2, restructuring taxes and side payments" can be found under the following Youtube-Link.

The full statements can be found under the following links (available only in German):

Press coverage:

Outstanding research outreach

The research paper ‘Offshore wind competitiveness in mature markets without subsidy’ recently published by the Chair of Energy Economics in collaboration with international colleagues in Nature Energy received an outstanding public attention. The findings discussed in the paper were mentioned by more than 115 international news outlets, as well as by 383 tweets from 317 users, with an upper bound of 1,166,650 followers.

We are very happy to know that the paper ranks as one of the highest-scoring outputs from the Nature Energy journal (#2 of 1,038); as well as that such public attention scores in 99th percentile of all research outputs of the same age. ⚡

Best paper award

The chair of energy economics is happy to announce that the paper Regret analysis of investment decisions under uncertainty in an integrated energy system’ by Thomas Möbius and Iegor Riepin was honored with a best paper award at the 17th International Conference on the European Energy Market 2020 (EEM20). Out of 135 excellent contributions, the paper was chosen by a scientific committee of the EEM20 and rewarded with the 3rd prize.

The conference took place from 16.09. - 18.09.2020 and was organized by Professor Mohammad Reza Hesamzadeh from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Articel published in Nature Energy

Felix Müsgens and Iegor Riepin just published an article on „Offshore wind competitiveness in mature markets without subsidy” in Nature Energy. After 18 month of research collaboration with an international team of scientists, we are excited to share our results.

The article analyses the results of 17 auctions for offshore wind energy in five European countries with a total of 41 accepted wind farms. As the auction designs vary considerably over time and between countries, the results were harmonized and converted into an average revenue per MWhel.

Our results suggest that we are approaching a subsidy-free era for offshore wind. Furthermore, we spot the first offshore wind farms that not only can be operated without subsidies but will probably even pay money back over lifetime for the right to produce electricity, i.e. receive "negative subsidies".

(Selected) Media coverage :

You can find the complete article here.  Offshore wind competitiveness in mature markets without subsidy, Nature Energy, 2020. A free access version is available on the following link: (read only).

Project kick-off „Kopernikus Project Ariadne”

On July 03, 2020, the virtual kick-off meeting for the project „Ariadne-Evidence-based Assessment for Shaping the German Energy Transition” took place.

Ariadne aims to improve policy and decision-making through an evidence-based assessment, which will provide the scientific basis for shaping the German energy transition. In addition to the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, 25 project partners are involved in the project.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the funding priority „Kopernikus-Projekte für die Energiewende”.

Web link to Kopernikus-Project Ariadne:

Prize for best presentation at the Pre-conference for young scientists at the 12th German Russian Raw materials conference

Ms. Dr. Dragana Nikodinoska was awarded a prize for best presentation in the Session: “Energy and Digital Technologies in Sustainable Development” at the Pre-conference for young scientists as part of the 12th German Russian Raw materials conference (held 27-29.11.2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia). At the conference she gave a talk about "Dynamic Forecast Combinations of Photovoltaic Feed-in".

Digital, decentralized, international? The energy system of the future

Im November 2019 war Prof. Felix Müsgens als Co-Leiter der AG Strommarktdesign innerhalb des Akademienprojekts „Energiesysteme der Zukunft“ (ESYS) Podiumsteilnehmer bei der Jahresveranstaltung 2019. Die im Berliner Futurium ausgerichtete Diskussion drehte sich vor allem um Fragestellungen zur Digitalisierung und Flexibilität eines künftigen treibhausgasneutralen Energiesystems. Zusammen mit Jutta Hanson (Technische Universität Darmstadt) und  Christoph Mayer (OFFIS – Institut für Informatik) diskutierte Prof. Müsgens entsprechende Herausforderungen, u. a. auch das möglichst effiziente Management von Engpässen im Stromnetz. Die gute Nachricht: Da erneuerbare Energien zunehmend wettbewerbsfähig werden, können sie verstärkt in den Bereichen Wärme und Verkehr eingesetzt werden. Um diese Sektorenkopplung weiter voranzubringen, müssten alle Energieträger in einen offenen Wettbewerb miteinander treten. Die im Klimapaket der Bundesregierung beschlossene CO2-Bepreisung sollte dafür das zentrale Instrument sein.

Further information about the event can be found here.

Source Image: acatech/Ausserhofer

Workshop on hybrid modeling of energy systems

On 12.11.2019, the workshop "Hybrid Modeling of Energy Systems" was held successfully in Karlsruhe. The workshop was jointly organized by the Chair of Energy Economics at BTU and the Chair of Analytics and Statistics at KIT within the framework of the project "ProKoMo - Better Price Forecasting in the Energy Industry by Combining Fundamental and Stochastic Models". The workshop addressed central issues of the mechanisms of short-term price generation and forecast.

Following speakers gave lectures addressing central issues of the mechanisms of short-term price generation and forecast:

  • Dr. Dogan Keles, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Christian Pape, Vattenfall Energy Trading GmbH
  • M.Sc. Heike Scheben, University of Stuttgart
  • Dr. Ricardo Mariense Wickert, Metalogic Software GmbH
  • Prof. Dr. Florian Ziel, University of Duisburg-Essen

Information and experiences of scientists and professionals have been exchanged. At a final panel discussion, Prof. Dr. Oliver Grothe and Prof. Dr. Felix Müsgens have summarized the workshop and invited participants for an open discussion.

Kommentar zu den Beschlüssen des Klimakabinetts

Am 20. September veröffentlichte das Klimakabinett seine Pläne zur Neugestaltung der deutschen Klimapolitik. Anbei eine kurze Einschätzung von Hr. Prof. Müsgens:

Positiv hervorzuheben sind drei Aspekte:

  • Erstens der Einstieg in die Bepreisung der non-EU-ETS Sektoren. Dieses zentrale Element wird auch direkt am Anfang des Eckpunktepapiers der Bundesregierung platziert (Ziff. 1).
  • Zweitens folgt im direkten Anschluss (Ziff. 2) die Entlastung der Bürger durch den Abbau von Verzerrungen im Stromsektor, insbesondere bei der EEG-Umlage. In Kombination wird durch diese beiden Maßnahmen eine doppelte Dividende1erzielt: bessere Adressierung der Klimaexternalität, effizientere Sektorenkopplung im ‚level playing field‘.
  • Drittens ist das klare Bekenntnis der Bundesregierung zu begrüßen, „sich für einen europaweiten übergreifenden Zertifikatehandel für alle Sektoren“ einzusetzen.

Das folgende Sammelsurium einzelner Maßnahmen (insgesamt 63 weitere Punkte) dagegen verursacht hohe Kosten bei unklarem Beitrag zum Klimaschutz.

Angesichts von mehreren hunderttausend Menschen, die heute in Deutschland und anderen Ländern für wirksamen Klimaschutz demonstriert haben, hätte man sich insgesamt mehr Mut und klarere Kommunikation gewünscht: Klimaschutz ist auch mit Kosten verbunden. Insbesondere im Hinblick auf die Höhe der CO2-Preise erscheint es zumindest fraglich, ob mit den geplanten Preisen (z.B. 10 €/t CO2 im Jahr 2021, 35 €/t im Jahr 2025) die Einsparziele der Bundesregierung erreicht werden. Hier wäre mehr Vertrauen in dieses für den Klimaschutz zentrale Instrument angebracht. Bei höheren Preisen bestünde (als zweiter Teil der doppelten Dividende) gleichzeitig auch mehr Raum zum Abbau von Verzerrungen bei der EEG-Umlage. 0,25 €-Cent/kWh (im Jahr 2021) erscheinen bei einer EEG Umlage von aktuell 6,4 €-Cent/kWh eher symbolisch. In diesen Bereichen wird also Potential verschenkt. Dennoch: Der Anfang ist gemacht.

Medienecho: SOLARIFY - 'Klimaprogramm 2030 – Reaktionen aus der Wissenschaft'

1 Diese Vorgehensweise entspricht der Argumentation des Impulses „Über eine CO2-Bepreisung zur Sektorenkopplung: Ein neues Marktdesign für die Energiewende“, der im Rahmen des Akademienprojektes esys erarbeitet wurde.

Wissenschaftliches Hintergrundgespräch im Deutschen Bundestag

Klimaschädliches Treibhausgase brauchen einen Preis – darin sind sich Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft, Zivilgesellschaft und Politik weitgehend einig. Welche Vor- und Nachteile bieten die verschiedenen Optionen zur Einführung eines CO2-Preises, welche Lösung nützt dem Klimaschutz am meisten? Wie können die bestehenden Verzerrungen abgebaut und eine stärkere Sektorenkopplung gefördert werden? Und wie sollten die Einnahmen aus der CO2-Bepreisung verwendet werden?

Darüber diskutierten am 05. September 2019 wissenschaftliche Referenten des Akademienprojekts „Energiesysteme der Zukunft“ (ESYS) mit Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern von Mitgliedern des Deutschen Bundestages (MdBs) sowie Fraktionsreferentinnen und –referenten bei der Veranstaltung „Energie.Wende.Punkte.“ im Deutschen Bundestag. Ziel war es, fundiertes Wissen zu aktuellen Themen der Energiepolitik und Energiewirtschaft bereitzustellen und Umsetzungsmöglichkeiten zu diskutieren.

Ein wirksamer, sektorenübergreifender CO2-Preis ist ein erster Schritt zu einem unverfälschten Wettbewerb zwischen allen Energieträgern. Doch gleichzeitig müsste vor allem Strom entlastet werden, damit er mit Erdgas, Heizöl, Benzin und Diesel konkurrieren kann. Sebastian Kreuz, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl für Energiewirtschaft an der Brandenburgischen Technischen Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg, sprach sich dafür aus, die Einnahmen aus der CO2-Bepreisung zu nutzen, um das Steuer- und Umlagensystem umzugestalten. Würde man zum Beispiel die EEG-Umlage senken, würden Verzerrungen im System abgebaut und die Kosten für Haushalte sinken – so könnte eine „doppelte Dividende“ erzielt werden.

Weitere Informationen unter

Realizing sector coupling by pricing carbon: A new market design for the energy transition

On September 3rd, Prof. Müsgens presented preliminary results of a study on CO2 pricing options and the reorganization of the German energy price system to the press and the public in Berlin.

The working group "Electricity Market Design", which is headed by Prof. Müsgens together with Prof. Hartmut Weyer (TU Clausthal) and is organized within the project "Energy Systems of the Future" (ESYS) supported by three Academies of Science, created a study titles "Realizing sector coupling by pricing carbon: A new market design for the energy transition" (German: “Über eine CO2-Bepreisung zur Sektorenkopplung: Ein neues Marktdesign für die Energiewende”). In this study, concrete options for a uniform and comprehensive CO2 emission pricing system are presented.

Furthermore, the study focuses on the reduction of existing market distortions, in particular in the electricity sector. These necessary reductions can be financed and incentivized by revenues coming from the introduction of a CO2 emission price. Thus, it is possible to achieve a double dividend from the proposed reform.

Together with Prof. Christoph M. Schmidt (RWI, Chairman of the German Council of Experts) and Prof. Andreas Löschel (University of Münster, Chairman of the Expert Commission on the Monitoring Process "Energy of the Future"), the necessity of a reform was discussed in a talk with Dr. Ing. Axel Bree (Head of Division "Industrial Policy Aspects of Energy Supply, Energy Taxation, Ecodesign" at the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy), in particular with regard to an undistorted competition of different energy resources. Taking into account the climate policy goals, such competition could incentivize the application of sector coupling.

In a second panel, Prof. Müsgens, discussed the acceptance, distribution and the international perspective of pricing greenhouse gases together with Brigitte Knopf (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, MCC), Ortwin Renn (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, IASS) and Philipp Wendel (Federal Foreign Office). It became clear that an energy price reform should on the one hand cushion social hardships. On the other hand, the scientists emphasized that public acceptance of the energy transition will certainly remain, if the greenhouse gas reduction targets are achieved as efficient and cheap as possible.

Further information (only available in German):

Impulspapier: Über eine CO2-Bepreisung zur Sektorenkopplung: Ein neues Marktdesign für die Energiewende

In the media:

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