Financing: Important Basis for a New Energy System

Image source: Adobe Stock
Image source: Adobe Stock

How to finance the transformation of the energy system? Easy and cheap access to financial resources can be a possible driver for the transformation. Economic aspects have always been important and much discussed topics when it came to the energy transition and the financing of renewable energies. Often, these discussions focus on and evaluate individual instruments and markets with or on which revenues are generated that allow for the repayment of initial investments. One also speaks of a "refinancing" of the investments. The sources of financial resources for these investments and the forms in which the financial needs are met are less often considered.

Both depend directly on the legal framework. It sets the rules for financial institutions as well as the type and amount of funding that is available. Formal and informal rules interact and often form "pathways": They do not change arbitrarily, but mostly evolve in a certain direction ("path dependency"). Only occasionally does a fundamental turnaround occur ("path break").


Financiers and those who install and operate the plants operate within these changing framework conditions. We are investigating their motives, technical implementation options and future development paths in the context of the changing energy system.


With this in mind, the focus of the research group's work is on the following three main topics:

  • Investigation of the motives and strategies of financial market actors and their influence on social mobilization in the energy sector
  • Historical development of funding regimes or sectors in the regulatory framework, analyzing path dependencies and path breaks in energy policy
  • Significance and socio-ecological impact of financing and participation models at decentralized level in energy communities and neighbourhoods