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-Institut für Wasserbau, Abteilung Wasserbau, Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Kilian Bizer

Professur für Wirtschaftspolitik und Mittelstandsforschung, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Christoph Böhringer

Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Oldenburg

Prof. Dr. Edmund Brandt

Institut für Rechtswissenschaften (ira), Braunschweig

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

Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik (IWI), Hannover

Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Frank Eggert

Institut für Psychologie, Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. jur. Claas Friedrich Germelmann

Institut für Internationales Recht, Hannover

Prof. Dr. Christina von Haaren

Institut für Umweltplanung (iup), Hannover

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Herrmann

Institut für Werkzeugmaschinen und Fertigungstechnik (IWF), Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Martin Kappas

Geographisches Institut, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Lutz M. Kolbe

Professur für Informationsmanagement, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Ursula Kües

Institut für Forstbotanik, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Norbert Lamersdorf

Büsgen-Institut, Abteilung Ökopedologie der gemäßigten Zonen, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Thomas Mann

Institut für Öffentliches Recht, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Jannika Mattes

Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Oldenburg

Prof. Dr. Roland Menges

Institut für Wirtschaftswissenschaft (IfW), Clausthal

Prof. Dr. Holger Militz

Burckhardt-Institut, Abteilung Holzbiologie und Holzprodukte, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Marcel Prokopczuk

Institut für Finanzmarkttheorie (FMT), Hannover

Prof. Dr. Patrik Recher

Institut für Mathematische Physik (imaph), Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Hans Ruppert

Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Martin Sauter

Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum, Göttingen

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Scholl

Institut für Chemische und Thermische Verfahrenstechnik (ICTV), Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner

Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre und Wirtschaftspädagogik, Oldenburg

Prof. Dr. Thomas S. Spengler

Institut für Automobilwirtschaft und Industrielle Produktion (aip), Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Peter-Tobias Stoll

Institut für Völkerrecht und Europarecht, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Ludwig Theuvsen

Department für Agrarökonomie und Rurale Entwicklung, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Edzo Veldkamp

Büsgen-Institut, Abteilung Ökopedologie der Tropen und Subtropen, Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Berthold Vogel

Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Göttingen (SOFI) an der Georg-August-Universität

Prof. Dr. jur. Hartmut Weyer

Institut für deutsches und internationales Berg- und Energierecht (IBER), Clausthal

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lars Wolf

Institut für Betriebssysteme und Rechnerverbund (IBR), Braunschweig