Addressing the energy policy and energy market regulation from a legal, political and economic perspective. Research covers the design and implementation of new policy measures, energy market regulation, the national and international legal context,and simulation-based policy assessment.
As the transition towards a more sustainable supply and use of energy will require drastic changes in the energy sector, it is critical to understand, evaluate, and quantify the micro- and macro-economic and distributive implications of such a transition. Implementation of the energy strategy in a market economy like Switzerland has to recognize the role of economic incentives in determining energy supply and demand decisions of firms and households in various sectors of the economy as well as in international markets. New energy policies have to be designed for and to be fitted in existing political, legal and economic structures; i.e. accounting for the policies in place, the federal structure of Switzerland as well as international restrictions. Last but not least, also behavioral aspects at the level of individual energy consumers and at the level of organizations need to be taken into account. As several countries are currently adjusting their existing and implementing new energy policies and redesign their energy markets this provides the chance to learn from international experiences in evaluating the Swiss energy transition process.
The dynamic aspect of the energy transition further entails considering the macroeconomic drivers and mechanisms for economic growth and their inter-relations with specific aspects of the energy sector such as, e.g., technological innovation, resource costs, capital intensity, and market structures. Due attention needs to be paid to physical and other non-economic drivers and barriers. Moreover, the performance of alternative policy and market designs that help achieve the energy transition significantly depend on their compatibility with incentive-based decision rules of economic actors and the macroeconomic boundary conditions as well as on the acceptability of their distributional implications.