Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

This is an Open Access article. You will receive access to the full text.

Prepress Content: The following article is a preprint of a scientific paper that has completed the peer-review process and been accepted for publication within The Energy Journal.

While the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) makes every effort to ensure the veracity of the material and the accuracy of the data therein, IAEE is not responsible for the citing of this content until the article is actually printed in a final version of The Energy Journal. For example, preprinted articles are often moved from issue to issue affecting page numbers, and actual volume and issue numbers. Care should be given when citing Energy Journal preprint articles.

Consumer Surplus from Energy Transitions

Open Access Article

Energy transitions have led to major advances in human wellbeing. However, little evidence exists about the scale of the net benefits. By developing a new method for identifying the demand curve, this paper estimates the consumer surplus associated with heating, transport and lighting over more than two hundred years and identifies the gains from key energy transitions. For certain energy transitions, the increase was dramatic, reflecting the transformations in society and lifestyles that mobility and illumination provided in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Yet, the net benefits related to heating technologies only rose modestly. Finally, due to saturation effects of the demand for energy services, future technological developments and energy transitions may benefit consumers (though not necessarily society as a whole) less than those in the past.

Download Executive Summary Download PDF

Keywords: Energy demand, Energy transition, Technological change, Consumer surplus

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.3.rfou

References: Reference information is available for this article. Join IAEE, log in, or purchase the article to view reference data.

Published in Volume 39, Number 3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.