Discover Germany | Interview | Aurora Energy Research Ltd.
UK, were being made with huge longterm consequences for society and the environment.
In this example, we found that phasing out coal is a relatively cost effective approach to reducing carbon emissions.
energy market, and it may also precipitate substantial reform of the European carbon pricing system.
We wanted to help improve these decisions. Aurora was founded by a group of Oxford University professors and economists, including myself, to bring independent datadriven intelligence to decision makers during this transformational period.
Let’s talk about the Brexit. What changes in your business, if any, do you expect as a result?
Looking ahead, what is going to be important for Aurora?
When providing consultancy services, what can the client expect from you and how do you start such a project? Koehler: What differentiates Aurora from other consultants is that we are also energy specialists. We bring deep understanding of the market and fit-for-purpose models that take years to develop. For example, one of our clients wanted to understand the implications if Germany decides to phase-out its coal fleet and how this compares to other climate policy options. We reviewed the political debate to define how alternative options to meet Germany’s climate targets could look like (say, by introducing a higher carbon price). Then we defined metrics that can be compared across scenarios and projected these with our market models.
Feddersen: For our business, Brexit creates substantial uncertainty. So far we’re still seeing very good business conditions in the UK, but the government and Bank of England have implemented a number of measures to stimulate activity since Brexit which may not be sustainable. I think we’ll know more in the first half of 2017. Having said this, we’re very pleased to now have a substantial presence in Berlin. In particular, this brings market access to all of Europe as well as the ability to seamlessly hire from a Europe-wide talent pool. Neither of these is guaranteed in post-Brexit UK. Does the Brexit have an impact on energy developments in the UK, Germany or Europe? Feddersen: Energy market implications of Brexit are complicated. It’s a little too early to say much confidently. Two observations are that Brexit should slow down the integration of the European
Koehler: The most exciting next step for Aurora concerns the trend towards flexible, distributed energy. In the past, investments in the electricity system tended to be expensive, and using established technologies. Through rapid improvements in solar and battery technology we’re now seeing an enormous amount of new investment in small, flexible, and locally distributed energy. For example, we are seeing batteries, solar on rooftops and micro-CHP as ways to improve the performance of the energy system. This booming market is fiendishly complex to model compared to traditional energy modelling. However, our approach in this space is absolutely cutting edge and we’re helping a number of market participants make sensible investment decisions that will shape the energy market over the coming decades. www.auroraer.com
Berlin City West. Photo: © Berlin Partner-Wuestenhagen
Brandenburger Tor. Photo: © Berlin Partner Fritsch-Foto
Issue 44 | November 2016 | 29
Discover Germany promotes German, Swiss & Austrian Design, Tourism, Food, Culture and Business.