Agora Energiewende


Agora Energiewende develops evidence-based and politically viable strategies for ensuring the success of the clean energy transition in Germany, Europe and the rest of the world. As a think tank and policy laboratory we aim to share knowledge with stakeholders in the worlds of politics, business, academia and civil society while enabling a productive exchange of ideas. Our scientifically rigorous research highlights practical policy solutions while eschewing an ideological agenda. As a non-profit foundation primarily financed through philanthropic donations, we are not beholden to narrow corporate or political interests, but rather to our commitment to confronting climate change.


In 2012, the European Climate Foundation and the Mercator Foundation founded Agora Energiewende to tackle the challenges posed by the energy transition. Its official mandate is to develop academically rigorous and politically feasible pathways for transforming energy systems toward clean energy in Germany and across the globe. Because its core funding comes from philanthropic organisations, Agora is fully autonomous, operating independently of business interests and political pressures. Within the framework of international projects, we receive public funds in the form of grants.

Since its founding, Agora Energiewende has become one of Europe’s leading energy policy think tanks. It has developed numerous policies that informed the German government and European institutions.

Agora acts as an intermediary between decision-makers, stakeholders, scientists, and the media by combining research, dialogue, and outreach. Our dedicated team of more than 70 experts examines a host of issues crucial to the energy transition. Through both in-house and commissioned studies, we find answers to economic, technological, and policy questions in order that we may deepen our understanding and create a base of knowledge for developing targeted solutions.

Because no single institution can fully grasp the entire complexity of the transition, Agora fosters intensive dialogue with major stakeholders from public policy, civil society, business, academia and civil society. We provide evidence for setting future energy policy, build consensus about the best solutions, and promote measures to apply in specific contexts.


Our interdisciplinary team possesses all the expertise needed for a successful energy transition, from experience with long-term planning and a thorough awareness of macro-economic repercussions to specific engineering know-how and an understanding of the nuts and bolts of policy implementation. We investigate topics such as efficiency, market design, supply- and demand-side technology, flexibility, energy economics, power system planning, industry, the heating sector, and political change processes, among many others.

Agora’s Council is populated by some of Germany’s and Europe’s top minds and foremost authorities in clean energy. Ministers, CEOs, professors, civil society leaders, and other key individuals gather regularly to discuss cutting-edge trends, develop new ideas, and advise Agora’s team.

Agora Energiewende: The most important information at a glance

  • Established in 2012
  • Team: A staff of more than 45 led by Dr. Patrick Graichen
  • Legal form: Programme area of Smart Energy for Europe Platform (SEFEP) gGmbH
  • Funders: Mercator Foundation and European Climate Foundation

Grants and donations to SEFEP

2017-2020 *

Third-party donors 2017 (in €) 2018 (in €) 2019 (in €) 2020 (in €) without Dec.
Stiftung Mercator 2,249,158.48 1,866,002.00 1,912,000.00 1,534,468.69
European Climate Foundation 1,164,634.48 1,057,214.39 697,642.58 1,534,468.69
German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)   535,591.32 944,212.33 755,341.49
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) 279,036.83 420,158.33 974,407.57 565,725.31
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) 54,492.00 182,892.66 18,362.34 -110.34
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)   8,700.00 42,626.07 41,795.10
Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT)   79,928.00 118,522.00  
Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI)   2,350,815.26 1,147,178.79  
Forum for active philanthropy       90,000.00
Climate Imperative (CI)       1,691,445.37
  3,747,321.79 4,150,486.70 7,058,588.15 7,325,844.41

* excluding onward transfers and donations to partner organizations

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