The Centre for Energy Business and Economics Research (CEnBER) is a centre of applied research within the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) of the University of Groningen that focuses on the economic and business analysis of the role of energy (oil, gas, electricity, heat) in societies. CEnBER applies state of the art academic knowledge to important societal issues. It’s our aim to cooperate with external stakeholders in order to contribute to solving these problems.
CEnBER organises (public) seminars, a bi-annual conference, and provides an outlet for all your questions regarding energy economics, energy business, and sustainably energy. With strong connections to important institutions and organisations in the energy field, CEnBER is also a platform for debates at regional, national, as well as European level. At last, CEnBER provides the opportunity to discuss possibilities for joint research projects with interested stakeholders.
Levels of analysis
Our business and economic analysis is conducted on a variety of levels: micro, meso, and macro. Knowledge of energy business and economics on various levels enables our researches to adequately assess the effects of different types of policy measures.
A particular research topic within CEnBER is the effect of environmental policies directed at energy production or consumption. Issues discussed include the optimal design of policy measures to curb carbon emissions, such as energy taxes, emissions trading schemes, environmental standards and subsidies for renewables.
Analysis on this level is directed at the behaviour of economic agents. Research focuses on decisions made by firms in the energy business (such as the investments in networks, the dispatch of power plants, the exploration of new gas resources and the marketing and sales of energy), decisions made by energy-using firms (such as on energy efficiency, fuel switching or risks of volatile energy prices) as well as decisions by consumers (such as on the choice of the energy supplier, the use of solar panels or on insulating houses). The analysis of energy business and consumer behaviour provides insight in the daily decisions made by numerous agents.
On meso level, our economists analyse how energy producers and energy consumers interact. The different energy carriers (e.g. gas and electricity) are traded in different types of markets (such as exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) markets) through different types of products (from intraday to long-term commitments) on different scales (from local to global markets). The design of these markets affects how prices are determined, which in turn influences the decisions taken by firms and consumers. The economic analysis of markets improves our understanding of how firms and consumers interact.
On this level, our researchers analyse the aggregated effects of energy production, consumption and prices. Since energy is a key input for many activities, a change in the oil price, for instance, may have significant effects on the macro economy in terms of GDP and employment. In turn, the macroeconomic developments affect the functioning of energy markets, the energy prices and the decisions made by economic agents. Economic analysis on macro level is needed to get a better understanding in how decisions by numerous producers and consumers affect the macro economy and vice versa.
On all levels, attention is paid to government policies, since they may have major effects on the decisions by firms and consumers, on the functioning of energy markets and on the relationship between energy markets and the macro economy. Policies to promote renewable energy affect the price of electricity and, hence, investments in new power plants and the need for investments in the electricity grid.
CEnBER is one of the Centres of Expertise of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen.
Faculty of Economics and Business
The Faculty of Economics and Business offers a wide range of educational programmes at Bachelor, Master and PhD level. Our staff and students work together closely on renewed research projects, often at international level. Not only do students receive knowledge to excel in their field of expertise, but also skills that are crucial in future international oriented organisations. Our faculty is part of the University of Groningen, a dynamic academic environment, founded in 1614 and known for its rich research tradition.
Developing and applying knowledge works best in cooperation. That is why FEB wants to work together with companies, local governments and other organisations. By working together, our partners benefit from our academic knowledge, while we benefit from their practical knowledge. For an overview of the cooperation possibilities with FEB, we would like to refer you to our business portal .
FEB wants to share its academic insights with the business community and has therefore established twelve centres of expertise. Hence, CEnBER is part of a motivated community of professors and researchers that wants to strengthen the relationship between science and practice. Together we are pushing back the boundaries of our knowledge, improving our education and implementing our expertise to optimise the future of organisations.
Centres of Expertise
The faculty of Economics and Business distinguishes nine Centres of Expertise – clusters of scientists/researchers within a specific discipline. You can approach the centre of expertise that is relevant for your organisation. Or you can participate in long-term studies. By working together with one or our centres of expertise, you will automatically have access to recent research, courses and conferences.
These are our centres of expertise:
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