Katharina Umpfenbach is a Senior Fellow and coordinates Ecologic Institute's work on energy policy. Currently, her research focuses on the EU 2030 energy and climate framework. She is particularly interested in the regulatory framework for renewable energies and energy market integration in Europe. In this respect, a central question of hers is how to more effectively embed Germany's Energiewende in the European Energy Union. In addition, Katharina investigates the role of consumers in the energy transition. She is a native German speaker and fluent in English and French.
With over a decade of experience in policy research, Katharina Umpfenbach has led and contributed to various projects dealing with energy sector decarbonisation. For example, she assisted the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in adapting the national support scheme for solar energy and supported the negotiations for the EU 2030 energy and climate targets. Recent projects focus on the EU Governance Regulation, a new approach to ensure Member States will reach their 2030 climate and energy targets, and on better understanding how the EU energy system will look like in 2030. Moreover, Katharina is working on Germany's exit from coal-firing.
In addition to her research and consultancy work, Katharina teaches students from University of Notre Dame and Duke University. She also regularly presents her insights during visitor programmes for journalists and policy makers from accross the world who seek to better understand the implications of energy sector transformation.
Prior to joining Ecologic Institute, Katharina Umpfenbach worked at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Washington DC. During her time at UNEP, she helped foster cooperation between North American NGOs and UNEP and contributed to environmental assessment reports. She also interned in the German Bundestag.
Katharina Umpfenbach was awarded a MSc in Environmental Change and Management with distinction from Oxford University. In her previous studies at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin (Germany), Katharina Umpfenbach studied history, political science and economics. Her studies were supported by the German National Academic Foundation.