The success of the energy transition in the electricity sector and other sectors depends on considerable investments in renewable energies and accompanying flexibility options on the generation as well as the consumption side. However, the necessary investment decisions are driven less by the assumed technology costs of a hypothetical cost-optimised energy system and more by microeconomic revenue expectations and incentive structures as well as behavioural patterns of the actors involved. This can also result in decisions that deviate from the theoretical cost minimum and, due to incomplete information, uncertainty or irrationality in decision-making, sometimes wrong decisions are made.
Aims and approach
Therefore, the objective of the r project is to investigate how investment decisions in the renewable power sector can be modeled as realistically as possible and whether the decisions made in the model can contribute to the achievement of current climate targets as well as long-term security of supply. The focus of the analyses is on investment decisions in renewable generation units and flexible capacities with a special focus on modeling uncertain future revenue and cost expectations.
The project is structured around the following four research questions:
- which real economic decision-making calculations influence the investment decisions of different groups of actors in the electricity sector?
- how will actor structures and constellations develop in the future?
- how can complex microeconomic decision-making processes be modelled and mapped in a computationally efficient way?
- can sufficient investment in renewable generation and flexible balancing capacities be expected to achieve the goals of the Climate Protection Act?
The project is supported by the involvement of practitioners from the fields of banking and financing, project planning and operation as well as energy supply via an advisory board. Industry associations and relevant individual companies integrated into the advisory board provide important impulses from practice and support in generating the empirical basis and the framework of assumptions.
ZIRIUS is responsible for analysing the actors in the InvestAgent project. This involves classifying actor types, identifying different actor constellations in the planning, financing and operation of plants, describing real investment calculations and estimating possible future changes. Methodologically, a standardised questionnaire is first drawn up and sent to a wide range of participants from the relevant economic sectors
- Financing and banking
- Planning and project management of plants and
- operations management and services
distributed. This is intended to create a valid empirical basis and better understand real investment calculations with regard to decision criteria and sizes and financing conditions. Further detailed information and as many perspectives as possible are to be gathered by means of in-depth interviews and dialogue with the advisory board. In a future workshop with representatives of all relevant stakeholder types from the areas of planning, financing and operation of generation and storage facilities, expectations regarding future changes will be collected and analysed for each stakeholder group towards the end of the project.