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During her studies of Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of Karlsruhe (TH) 2000 – 2006, Sarina Keller
set a focus on energy (especially renewable energies) and resource economics. In 2002, she worked at the Institute for Environmental and Energy Systems (IMES) in Lund, Sweden, and published a student research project about „Residential Heat Pumps in Germany - Technology, Policy, Actors and Markets". In the following year, she took part in the Erasmus Student Exchange Program and spent one year at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.
In 2005, Sarina Keller dealed with the Tunisian energy situation during an internship at the German Corporation for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in Tunisia. Besides she wrote her diploma thesis about „energy policy options for Tunisia with special regard to support strategies for renewably generated electricity" supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Ludwig-Bölkow-Foundation. After finishing her studies, she started to work as PhD student at the Wuppertal Institute for Environment, Climate and Energy for the Research Group "Future Energy and Mobility Structures".
Sarina Keller's PhD thesis about „International market opportunities for German companies in the value chain of renewable energy technologies" intend to analyse the future of international markets regarding competitiveness and leadership of German companies within the supply chain of wind energy. There's a focus set on the wind markets in the USA and India.
The global markets for renewable energies have experienced substantial growth during the last decade, since these technologies are seen as one solution for the climate change problem and the security of energy supply. Both component suppliers, producers and planners could increase their business, and the current market situation seems to be positive, in spite of the economic crisis. Especially German companies have offered mature technology, quality and experience at global markets in the past. In some fields like wind or solar energy, Germany is one of the leading countries regarding technology supply and is also seen as forerunner of implementing renewable energy promoting policies. However, other international companies are close in and their potential is increasing.
As the renewable energy markets grow more internationally and export and external trade become more crucial, international competition has increased, and the political framework has changed substantially over the time. Thus a number of questions arises in this context:
(1)Which key markets dominate the future of industries in the middle and long term which participate in the value system of renewable energy technologies?
(2)How will the future of international competitiveness regarding renewable energy technologies develop?
(3)In which way are domestic and global companies in a position to influence political decision-making processes and legislative procedures to impact positively on their market situation?
Despite the vast material covering the situation of renewable energies, there is still a research gap in respect to possible future development of involved industries, the dependencies of economical and political processes to company success and the question of company-based influences on policy processes. Therefore, future industrial opportunities, the determination of success factors and the policy diffusion pathways are most interesting for this PhD project.