Prof.dr. R.W. (Rolf) Künneke


Rolf Künneke is full Professor Economics of Infrastructures at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) of Delft University of Technology. He graduated as Diplom Volkswirt (master degree in Economics) at the University of Dortmund/ Germany and received his PhD at the University of Twente/ The Netherlands.


Künneke applies an institutional economic perspective towards responsible innovation, institutional design, regulation, and modelling of energy systems. He analyses the interrelatedness of technical and institutional features of sustainable energy infrastructures. He worked with Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom on the governance of social-ecological and socio-technical systems. He was member of the board of a national research program on the Dutch gas infrastructure (EDGaR). Recently is Principal Investigator of the Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan Solutions. 

  • SEN1131: Institutional design of complex socio-technical systems
  • TB221A: Economics of Infrastructures 
  • Kunneke, R. W. (2018). Interrelated technical and institutional coordination: The case of network infrastructures. Research Agenda of New Institutional Economics. C. Menard and M. M. Shirley, Edward Elgar.
  • Kunneke, R. W. and M. Finger (2018). The governance of infrastructures as common pool resources. Elinor Ostrom and the Blomington School of Political Economy: Volume 4, Policy Applications and Extensions. D. H. Cole and M. D. McGinnis. Lanham, MD, Lexington books: 233-245.
  • Künneke, R., et al. (2015). "Understanding Values Embedded in Offshore Wind Energy Systems: Towards a purposeful institutional and technological design." Environmental Science & Policy 53: 118-129.
  • Künneke, R. W., et al. (2010). "Aligning modes of organization with technology: Critical transactions in the reform of infrastructures." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 75: 494-505.
  • Künneke, R. W. (2008). "Institutional Reform and Technological Practice: The Case of Electricity." Industrial and Corporate Change 17(2): 233-265.
  • Finger, M., Groenewegen, J.P., Künneke, R.W. (2005). "The Quest for Coherence Between Technology and Institutions in Infrastructures." Journal of Network Industries 6(4): 227-259.
  • Künneke, R. W. (1999). "Electricity Networks: How `Natural' Is the Monopoly?" Utilities Policy 8(2): 99-108.

More Publications

NWO project: Embedding social responsibility in the design of offshore wind energy systems.

The development of offshore wind energy systems is a complex challenge from a technical, socio-economic, ethical and legal perspective. This project elaborated a general framework how to systematically embed social responsibility into the technical and institutional design of offshore wind energy systems.

NWO project: Capturing the societal value of smart energy systems

Smart grid technologies are considered to be important enablers in the transition to a more sustainable electricity system, as they facilitate the growing deployment of, among others, renewable energies. However, there are serious ethical concerns related to their use, concerning privacy, security, reliability, or affordability. To address these ethical concerns and avoid conflicts during implementation, there is a strong urgency to take moral values into account when designing smart grid technologies.

Industry funded research: Safety and security of gas distribution networks in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has one of the most dense gas distribution networks in the world. Nearly all households and firms are provided with natural gas, which is strongly facilitated by significant domestic gas reserves. Since decades the safety and security of the Dutch gas distribution is taken for granted, rightfully.  However, recently the Dutch gas distribution is facing significant challenges. From a technical perspective, the networks are aging and need to be renovated or even abolished. An increasing diversity of gas qualities from different sources of origin needs to be facilitated. There is an ongoing integration of gas, electricity and heat networks as a part of the energy transition. Smart grids are developing and increase the reliance on ICT systems. From a socio-economic perspective, the gas sector increasingly relies on private initiatives and competition between different retailers and service providers. Network distribution companies have strictly regulated tasks with respect to the transport of gas on behalf an increasing number of different customers with different expectations and requirements. The societal acceptance of traditional and new risks associated with gas distribution networks and how to deal with them is another important issue. Who is responsible and how is safety and security of gas distribution networks safeguarded? What are the possible implications of these developments for the supervision, regulation and organization of the sector? What is the future role of network distribution companies as part of a social responsible governance of the safety and security of gas distribution networks?

  • Editor in Chief, Competition and Regulation if Network Industries, Intersentia, 2007-2016.
  • Member of the board of ‘Energy Delta Gas Research Program’ (EdGaR), 2009-2014
  • Principal Investigator of Amsterdam Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), 2016-2018
  • Member of the steering Committee of DUWIND (TU Delft Wind Energy Institute), from 2013
  • Chairman of the board of Examiners of the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, from 2015

Rolf Künneke

Full professor

  • Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management

    Building 31

    Room number: C3.040

Values, Technology and Innovation

Economics of Technology and Innovation

Suzanne Kamp

Research interests:

Design for values
Management of responsible innovation
Wind Energy
Urban energy systems
Governance of safety and security of gas distribution networks
The future of the Dutch gas infrastructure

Additional information

Prof.dr. R. Künneke

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