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Activities in the field of energy

Tailored programs and workshops for companies

Energy companies face significant challenges. For utilities, liberalization, regulation to foster renewable energies and the subsequent rise of decentralized generation question existing business models. For players in oil and gas, upstream markets become increasingly diversified and globalized, particularly in gas, and emission targets remain a continuous threat for the industry. By linking applied research, think tank activities and executive education, we aim to enrich the public discourse on energy regulation as well as to prepare energy companies for an uncertain future.


Energy research at ESMT focuses on innovation, blockchain, new business strategies, and changes along the energy value chain.

In executive education, ESMT offers tailored programs and workshops for companies. They focus on competitive differentiation, tools for decision-making, and how to identify and scale new business opportunities.

ESMT also serves as a think tank and platform for the exchange of ideas between industry, politics and academia.


Christoph Burger


Senior Lecturer

+49 30 21231 - 0


Jens Weinmann


Program Director

+49 30 21231 - 0


Blockchain in the energy transition

In English
  • Blockchain in the energy transition

    Blockchain is a distributed, digital transaction technology that allows for securely storing data and executing smart contracts in peer-to-peer networks. In a survey among German energy executives, the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) – the German Energy Agency - and the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Berlin) have compiled their opinions, current and planned actions, and visions of the future role of Blockchain in the energy sector.

    Download the study in English or German.


    blockchain study

  • The Decentralized Energy revolution

    Decentralized energy supply increases independence from fossil resources, reduces the carbon footprint of a society and enhances local value creation. But many of the technologies deployed are still in their infancy and depend on subsidies.


    Entrepreneurs, representatives of energy incumbents and new entrants from Germany portray how they have transformed the abstract vision of a low-carbon, decentralized energy system into commercially viable business strategies. They engage in innovation and dissemination networks with municipalities and manufacturers, create new business opportunities using the information and communication layer of the smart grid, and develop an integrated value proposition beyond the narrow maximization of energy sales. Meanwhile, community empowerment stimulates the emotionalization of energy, municipalities turn into island systems and consumers into 'prosumers.'


    This book provides first-hand insights of how sustainability and economy can be reconciled – and how agents of change successfully develop the blueprint of a decentralized energy future.




    "Local entrepreneurial solutions are needed to meet the global challenges we face. Burger and Weinmann provide a compelling portrayal of visionary individuals and organizations that are shaping the world's energy future."
    Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum


    "Burger and Weinmann have not just written an insightful book on how decentralized energy can change the dynamics of energy markets, but a powerful, pioneering and insightful study of how markets in general can be changed with the right combination of technology, regulation and empowerment. This book is based on the German experience, but has wide applicability to emerging markets like China and India, where consumers can be empowered to become producers in a new sustainable model with social ownership. This book is a must read for all emerging market policy makers."
    Andrew Sheng, President of the Fung Global Institute


    "The ideas and concepts described in this book are important and inspiring stepstones on the path towards ‘Zero Carbon Energy Sectors’. They are the ideal complement of a sound political framework that secures and enables the energy transition."
    Eberhard Brandes, CEO, WWF Germany



  • Executive Education

    ESMT offers open enrollment, tailored programs and workshops for companies with the focus on competitive differentiation, tools for decision-making, and innovation in the new energy system for high potentials up to top management.

    Sample programs/ topics:

    • The New Energy System - German Energiewende and its implications on corporate and business strategy
    • Leading the energy transformation
    • Strategic decision making
    • Pathways to a low-carbon economy – implucations for the managers of tomorrow
    • Managing energy markets within regulartory constraints
    • Leading large research and development projects


    Participants profiles:

    • High potentials
    • Middle management
    • Senior managers up to executives



    • From two days up to three weeks
    • As single module or split over several modules





  • Research

    Macro perspective

    The macro perspective focuses on innovation and consolidation in the energy supply industry, with publications such as the ESMT Innovation Index. The link between energy and transport has been explored in the Market Model Electric Mobility; the link between energy and ICT in the acatech study on the Future Energy Grid.  


    Publications and conference presentations:

    • Innovation dynamics in the European and US American electricity supply industry
    • Estimating electric cars’ emissions in Germany: An analysis through a pivotal marginal method and comparison with other methode
    • Innovation Index 2010 - energy supply industry
    • Europäische Konsolidierung in der Energiebranche – Beginn einer zweiten Konsolidierungswelle
    • On the verge of a paradigm shift in the energy sector? From centralized to decentralized energy generation
    • Energy: choices for Europe


    Advisory services:

    Market Model Electric Mobility: Cars and Infrastructure

    • Supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, this simulation tools delivers a cost-benefit-analysis for different policy options to promote vehicles with alternative powertrains under various scenarios.

    Collaboration with acatech on the Future Energy Grid (2010/2011)

    • Large-scale project supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Identifies challenges in technical, market and political and regulatory framework for evolving towards the Smart Grid. Focal point of ESMT research:  Intelligent industry policy as an approach for supporting this transformation.



    Micro perspective

    The micro perspective examines corporate decision-making, innovation and strategic orientation of individual companies. Apart from the book “The decentralized energy revolution – business strategies for a new paradigm”, which describes a number of successful corporate strategies in decentralized energy supply, numerous case studies, practice projects by ESMT MBA students, and individual consulting projects have been undertaken to analyze, better understand and prepare energy companies and new entrants for the multiple challenges they face in the energy industry.

    All projects and cases are carried out in close co-operation with companies and sponsors. They are used for teaching in executive education via ecch, the European Case Clearing House, or as a direct strategic input for the companies


    Topics of MBA Practice Projects with energy focus

    • Assessment of business cases as basis to build on initial entrance into Russian electricity market
    • International business development and U.S. market entry
    • Development of e-mobility solutions
    • Development of a business model and value proposition for smart homes
    • Design and implementation of a business interruption risk management framework


    Case studies

    • Nord Stream and the Danish fishermen
    • Tijuana hyperborder plant: An investment opportunity?
    • Stadtwerke Hankenstedt
    • 2030: Sahara sunrise/ Nuclear takes it all/ Efficiency. Set of three cases with different long term scenarios


    Case studies created for Customized Executive Education Programs

    • Wind farms on the Iberian Peninsula – an investment opportunity
    • Oil and gas exploration in the North Sea – an investment opportunity
    • Reform of the Russian energy sector – an investment opportunity
    • The Swedish gas infrastructure – project S2G
  • Think Tank

    ESMT serves as a think-tank and platform for the exchange of ideas between industry, politics, and academia. At the ESMT Annual Forum, energy topics are regularly discussed. ESMT’s former president Lars-Hendrik Röller was appointed to co-chair the working group Framework Conditions of the National Platform Electric Mobility. ESMT has also cooperated with the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech, the Federation of German Industry BDI and the World Wildlife Fund.



    Annual Forum

    ESMT Annual Forum 2011
    Cornerstone panel e-mobility: The race is on

    Speakers: Henning Kagermann, Jürgen Großmann, Michel Gardel (Toyota), Soumitra Dutta (INSEAD), Levin Zhu (China International Capital Corporation Ltd.)


    Annual Forum 2010
    People, planet, profit: Creating a sustainable future

    Speakers: Peter Löscher, Jean-Louis Beffa, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, René Obermann, Sergej Komlev (GAZPROM). Panel discussion on green energy future- hopes and realities



    BDI WWF Lunch Series

    2011 Rio+20 Lunch Series
    Session topics:
    Sustainable growth: Which factors exist for its implementation?
    Energy efficiency: Which intelligent composite of tools do we need?

    2010 Climate Lunch Series
    Session topics:

    Hemmnisse bei der Umsetzung von Gebäudeeffizienz
    Mobilitätskonzepte der Zukunft: Vorreiterrolle Deutschland
    Europäische Incumbents auf dem Weg zur Low Carbon Economy



    Other activities

    Membership in the National Platform for Electric Mobility Steering Committee (2010/2011)
    Chaired by Henning Kagermann (acatech), Rainer Bomba (Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung) and Jochen Homann (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie)