Energy and Resource Management
Prof. Dr. Dietmar Winje
directs the Energy Research Division at the Institute of
Technology and Management of the Technical University of Berlin. The
mission of the Division is to foster research and education on issues
of the utility industries of power, gas, and water. Many years of
research in the field of energy use efficiency and the programme of
further education 'Energy Consulting / Energy Management' (1982 to
2000) had a particularly forming influence on the Division.
Security of supply of energy and other raw material as well as their environmentally sustainable and rational use are important to economic prosperity and to everybody's quality of life.
Up to the first oil crisis of 1973, research in nuclear energy dominates the energy research in Europe. The centre of interest is the security of supply at low prices in face of growing demand. From 1973 onwards, energy research expands to fossils fuels and energy use efficiency in light of the discussion around scarcity of resources and import dependence. Shortly thereafter, research in renewable energy begins. Today there is consent that sustainability of energy supply needs to be achieved. This means above all preservation of resources and avoidance of climatic damage. However, it is questionable whether current means and actions are suitable and sufficient for achieving the objectives.
As well as that, the liberalisation of the European electricity and gas markets determines a new framework of rules. This means new challenges for all players. The new order is being developed further. While the principles are marked out, numerous issues of market design are still to be resolved. Managers of the utility industry have to take their decisions under the uncertainty of a changing environment. The current state is sometimes referred to as the second phase of competition where companies have to survive under high cost pressure and where they have to learn competing internationally at the same time.
The new order of the water industry is hardly known yet. Whilst more market orientation is generally considered desirable the underlying physical principles of the water industry are somewhat different to gas and electricity. Nevertheless, the experience from the sectors more advanced in liberalisation will play an important role in the political debate.