The transformation of the German, European and global energy system is not only a challenge from the point of view of technology and natural sciences, but also constitutes a task for society as a whole. Hence this process must also be researched from a social scientific perspective. Energy systems are complex, socio-technical systems with multiple interdependencies, i.e. engineers and natural scientists must conduct their research in close cooperation with economic, legal and political scientists, as well as with sociologists. Inter- and trans-disciplinary research within EFZN allows a holistic, systematic development of valid recommendations for and strategies of actions.

Typical problems concern safety and reliability, economic feasibility, financeability, acceptance, decentralisation, democratisation and environmental compatibility of energy systems as well as technological comparisons. The status quo and the further development of state regulations and legal frameworks in Germany and the EU are taken into consideration. Aspects of public service and public goods in urban and rural areas, issues of acceptance with consideration of democratic dialogue and decision-taking structures, problems of demographic developments, as well as the impact on the environment and resource availability are further topics of research from this area. Furthermore, the effect of state subsidies and other monetary and non-monetary incentives, as well as burdens through rates and taxes on the transformation of energy systems are researched. One focus area is the structure and conduct of stakeholders. Because with a transformation of the energy system the roles of producers and consumers, local, regional and global possibilities of influence and power relations, as well as living habits and lifestyles will change.

The methodological focus of social scientific research is on quantitative and qualitative analyses of data, observations, surveys and experiments, as well as the development of decision-supporting systems that are often based on multiple criteria and scenario analyses with simulations or optimisations.

Research infrastructure

The university locations provide scientists in this line of research with comprehensive research infrastructure.

More on the research infrastructure

Photo: © EFZN

Research Scientists

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jochen Aberle

Leichtweiß Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources, Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Kilian Bizer

Department of Economics, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Christoph Böhringer

Department of Economics, Oldenburg

Prof. Dr. Edmund Brandt

Institute of Law, Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Michael H. Breitner

Institute of Information Systems Research (IWI), Hannover

Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Frank Eggert

Institute of Psychology, Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. jur. Claas Friedrich Germelmann

Institute of International Law, Hannover

Prof. Dr. Christina von Haaren

Institute of Environmental Planning (iup), Hannover

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Herrmann

Institute for Partial Differential Equations (IWF), Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Martin Kappas

Institute of Geography, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Lutz M. Kolbe

Department of Business Administration, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Ursula Kües

Institute for Forest Botany, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Norbert Lamersdorf

Büsgen-Institute, Department of Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Thomas Mann

Institute of Public Law, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Jannika Mattes

Institute for Social Sciences, Oldenburg

Prof. Dr. Roland Menges

Institute of Management and Economics (IfW), Clausthal

Prof. Dr. Holger Militz

Burckhardt-Institute, Department of Wood Biology and Wood Products, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Marcel Prokopczuk

Institute of Finance and Commodity Markets (FMT), Hannover

Prof. Dr. Patrik Recher

Institute of Mathematical Physics (imaph), Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Hans Ruppert

Geoscientific Centre, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Martin Sauter

Geoscientific Centre, Göttingen

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Scholl

Institute for Chemical and Thermal Process Engineering (ICTV), Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner

Department of Business Administration and Business Education, Oldenburg

Prof. Dr. Thomas S. Spengler

Institute of Automotive Management and Industrial Production (aip), Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Peter-Tobias Stoll

Institute of International Law and European Law, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Ludwig Theuvsen

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Edzo Veldkamp

Büsgen-Institut, Department of Soil Science of Tropical and Subtropical Ecosystems, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Berthold Vogel

Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Göttingen (SOFI) at the Georg-August-Universität

Prof. Dr. jur. Hartmut Weyer

Institute of German and International Mining and Energy Law (IBER), Clausthal

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lars Wolf

Institute of Operating Systems and Computer Networks (IBR), Braunschweig