An Economist’s View of the New Energy Economy

Bill Ellard

It has become obvious to many economists that the energy policies of the past 50 years have created monopolistic, unstable, and inefficient markets. The ASES Energy Economics Division, created last November, is dedicated to energy economics and choices that affect the efficiencies of energy markets. The division will specifically focus on solar, distributed generation (DG), existing energy sources, demand-side management, smart grid technologies, and intelligent software to guide the powerful new grid of the future.

Reshaping our energy economy using DG sources such as solar will, for the first time, bring free market principles into energy markets. These are the same free market dynamics that changed our computer and information technology sectors 30 years ago. Large mainframe computers used to be the size of a small house and now fit in the palm of the hand. The computer and information technology transition created millions of new jobs and increased demand for innovative products. We have much to look forward to.

Bill Ellard is the ASES energy economics division chair