Chair of Energy Economics and Management (FCN)

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The Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) is directed by Prof. Reinhard Madlener, who also holds the Chair of Energy Economics and Management. The Institute was established in June 2007 and is part of the E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University. The academic team comprises 30 researchers, most of whom are engaged in teaching and in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research on energy economics and related topics. The main focuses of FCN are: the diffusion of innovative (energy) technologies for a sustainable development and the changing needs and behaviors of energy consumers and producers (private households, companies) in light of current technological changes and pressing energy and environmental policy challenges, including climate change, peak-oil, and the energy transformation towards renewables and the phase-out of nuclear power and fossil fuels in the longer run.


The courses offered by FCN address students from different faculties and schools of RWTH Aachen and in particular those who are focusing on business economics and engineering economics. The courses provide the foundation for detailed and thorough analysis, and insights into a variety of research fields that are considered important in energy economics as well as in related fields (e.g. environmental economics, technological diffusion, and behavioral economics). In addition to the lectures and exercise units, seminars on topical issues in the fields of energy, mobility and environment are offered on a regular basis. Additionally, the Chair of Energy Economics and Management assigns and supervises a considerable number of student thesis projects each year, many of which are being undertaken in collaboration with the energy industry and related businesses.


FCN covers a wide range of research topics in energy economics. Among others, behavioral aspects, such as motives, attitudes and needs of firms, private households, and governments, are examined in both applied theoretical and empirical economics research. A further focus is on investment in energy technologies under uncertainty, and impact studies. Often, the technological basis and its targeted changes, as well as socioeconomic, welfare and market design and structural aspects are considered explicitly in the research activities. The increasing importance of sustainable energy technologies and services requires a better understanding of the needs and behaviors of the actors in the various energy markets. FCN contributes to this objective through its research and teaching activities, and provides relevant findings and valuable recommendations for political and other decision-makers and society alike. FCN is nationally and internationally well established and also widely acknowledged.