Bio


James L. Sweeney is Director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (formerly named the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency); Professor of Management Science and Engineering; Senior Fellow of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research; Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; and senior fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy. He served as chairman of the Stanford Department of Engineering-Economic Systems and chairman of the Department of Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research.

His professional activities focus on economic policy and analysis, particularly in energy, natural resources, and the environment. His research includes depletable and renewable resource use, electricity market analysis, environmental economics, global climate change policy, gasoline market dynamics, energy demand, energy price dynamics, and housing market dynamics. Along with Alan Kneese, he was editor of the three volume Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, part of the North Holland Handbooks in Economics series. He is the author of The California Electricity Crisis, an analytical history of the economic and policy issues associated with California's electricity restructuring and the subsequent crisis.

At Stanford he has served as Director of the Energy Modeling Forum, Chairman of the Stanford Institute for Energy Studies, and Director of the Center for Economic Policy Research (now the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research). He currently is on the executive committee of the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the executive committee of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

He periodically serves as a consultant or advisor to corporations, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and law firms. He has served as expert witness in energy litigations in natural gas, oil, and electricity industries in the United States and in New Zealand.

He holds a B.S. degree from MIT in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Engineering Economic Systems. His articles have appeared in numerous books and journals, including Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Resources and Energy, Management Science, Journal of Urban Economics, The Energy Journal, and International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Academic Appointments


Honors & Awards


  • Outstanding Contribution Award, International Association for Energy Economics (2008)
  • Adelman-Frankel Award, United States Association for Energy Economics (2007)
  • National Associate, National Academies (2004)
  • Senior Fellow, U.S. Association for Energy Economics (1999)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Stanford Society of Black Scientists and Engineers (1989)
  • Distinguished Service Award, Federal Energy Administration (1975)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Board of Directors, Hara Software (2011 - 2013)
  • Advisory Board, American Efficient (2011 - Present)
  • Advisory Board, Sun Synchrony (2012 - Present)
  • Advisory Board, Geothermic Solution (2013 - Present)

Professional Education


  • PhD, Stanford University, Engineering Economic Systems (1971)
  • BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering (1966)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Determinants of energy efficiency opportunities, barriers, and policy options. Emphasis on behavioral issues, including personal, corporate, or organizational. Behavior may be motivated by economic incentives, social, or cultural factors, or more generally, by a combination of these factors. Systems analysis questions of energy use.

2013-14 Courses


Postdoctoral Advisees


Journal Articles


  • Climate Speculations Review of Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future, Stanford Social Innovation Review. Sweeney, J., Kahn, Matthew, E. 2011
  • Defining a Standard Metric for Electricity Savings PHYSICS OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY II: USING ENERGY EFFICIENTLY AND PRODUCING IT RENEWABLY Koomey, J., Akbari, H., Blumstein, C., Brown, M., Brown, R., Budnitz, R., Calwell, C., Carter, S., Cavanagh, R., Chang, A., Claridge, D., Craig, P., Diamond, R., Eto, J. H., Fisk, W. J., Fulkerson, W., Gadgil, A., Geller, H., Goldemberg, J., Goldman, C., Goldstein, D. B., Greenberg, S., Hafemeister, D., Harris, J., Harvey, H., Heitz, E., Hirst, E., Hummel, H., Kammen, D., Kelly, H., Laitner, S., Levine, M., Lovins, A., Masters, G., McAuliffe, P., McMahon, J. E., Meier, A., Messenger, M., Millhone, J., Mills, E., Nadel, S., Nordman, B., Price, L., Romm, J., Ross, M., Rufo, M., Sathaye, J., Schipper, L., Schneider, S. H., Socolow, R. H., Sweeney, J. L., Verdict, M., von Meier, A., Vorsatz, D., Wang, D., Weinberg, C., Wilk, R., Wilson, J., Woodward, J., Worrell, E. 2011; 1401

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.3653843

    View details for Web of Science ID 000301975900002

  • SOLAR ISSUES TECHNOLOGY REVIEW Arent, D., Sweeney, J. 2010; 113 (5): 8-8
  • Defining a standard metric for electricity savings ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS Koomey, J., Akbari, H., Blumstein, C., Brown, M., Brown, R., Calwell, C., Carter, S., Cavanagh, R., Chang, A., Claridge, D., Craig, P., Diamond, R., Eto, J. H., Fulkerson, W., Gadgil, A., Geller, H., Goldemberg, J., Goldman, C., Goldstein, D. B., Greenberg, S., Hafemeister, D., Harris, J., Harvey, H., Heitz, E., Hirst, E., Hummel, H., Kammen, D., Kelly, H., Laitner, S., Levine, M., Lovins, A., Masters, G., McMahon, J. E., Meier, A., Messenger, M., Millhone, J., Mills, E., Nadel, S., Nordman, B., Price, L., Romm, J., Ross, M., Rufo, M., Sathaye, J., Schipper, L., Schneider, S. H., Sweeney, J. L., Verdict, M., Vorsatz, D., Wang, D., Weinberg, C., Wilk, R., Wilson, J., Worrell, E. 2010; 5 (1)
  • Allocating Emissions Allowances Under a California Cap-and-Trade Program: Recommendations to the California Air Resources Board and California Environmental Protection Agency from the Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee California Air Resources Board. Adams, J., Arroyo, V., Barger, M., Boyce, James, K., Burtraw, D., Bushnell, J., Sweeney, J. L. 2010
  • Low Carbon Growth: Our Ethical Responsibility Development Outreach Sweeney, J. 2008
  • Learning-by-doing and the optimal solar policy in California ENERGY JOURNAL van Benthem, A., Gillingham, K., Sweeney, J. 2008; 29 (3): 131-151
  • Deconstructing the Rosenfeld Curve Anant Sudarshan and James Sweeney Sweeney, J. 2008
  • Analysis of Measures to Meet the Requirements of California’s Assembly Bill 32 Precourt Energy Efficiency Team Sweeney, J. 2008
  • California Action Plan for Transportation Energy Security. California Strategic Transportation Energy Partnership. CalStart Sweeney, J. 2007
  • An Energy Policy for the Twenty-first Century Hoover Digest Sweeney, J. 2005: 33-36
  • Regulating Fuel Economy: Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards Policy Brief, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research Sweeney, J. 2003
  • The California Electricity Crisis: Lessons for the Future The Bridge Sweeney, J. 2002: 23-31
  • Tradable Fuel Economy Credits. Analysis and Text Extended from Chapter 5 of Impact and Effectiveness of Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards Sweeney, J. 2001
  • California Public Interest Energy Research: Independent PIER Panel Final Report Independent PIER Panel. California Council on Science and Technology Sweeney, J. 2001
  • California Public Interest Energy Research: Independent PIER Panel Report Independent PIER Panel. California Council on Science and Technology Sweeney, J., Kahn, Matthew, E. 2000
  • Agricultural Damage of Common Crops and Externalities Associated with Bread Consumption EES&OR Department Working Paper. Sweeney, J., Montgomery, W., David, Bickel, J., Eric, Barz, G., Weng, W., Ashaboglu, F. 1997
  • Evaluation of the EPA's Proposal for Renewable Oxygenates Prepared for The American Petroleum Institute Sweeney, J. 1994
  • Gasoline Taxes: An Economic Assessment Prepared for the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress Sweeney, J. 1993
  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY - LESSONS FROM THE PAST AND STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE - COMMENT WORLD BANK ECONOMIC REVIEW Sweeney, J. L. 1993: 429-439
  • Review of Transportation Fuels Analysis and Policy Recommendations in California Energy Commission: California Energy Plan Sweeney, J., Montgomery, D. 1992
  • Mandating a Transition to Alternative Transportation Fuels: Economic Environmental and Energy Security Implications Sweeney, J., Montgomery, D. 1992
  • Mandates for Alternative Fuels: A Policy Analysis Charles River Associates Sweeney, J., Montgomery, D. 1991
  • Oil Import Fees With Exemptions: An Empirical Examination Resources and Energy Sweeney, J. 1990; 11 (3): 215-239
  • Price Oscillations in Oligopoly Center for Economic Policy Research Publication ,Stanford California Sweeney, J., Comanor, W. 1990
  • OIL IMPORT FEES WITH EXEMPTIONS - AN EMPIRICAL-EXAMINATION RESOURCES AND ENERGY Sweeney, J. L. 1989; 11 (3): 215-239
  • On Economic Policy Responses to Disruptions: A Reply to Harry Saunders The Energy Journal Sweeney, J., Hickman, B., Huntington, H. 1989; 10 (4): 189-198
  • Time Inconsistency and the Advantage of Not Committing: The Importer of an Exhaustible Resource Center for Economic Policy Research Working Paper, Stanford California Sweeney, J., del Sol, P. 1988
  • Changing World Oil Markets: What Should We Expect? Zeitschrift fur Energie Wirtschaft Sweeney, J. 1986: 73-74
  • Analyzing Impacts of Potential Tax Policy Changes on U.S. Oil Security The Energy Journal Sweeney, J., Boskin, M., J. 1985; 6: 89-108
  • THE RESPONSE OF ENERGY DEMAND TO HIGHER PRICES - WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW Sweeney, J. L. 1984; 74 (2): 31-37
  • MODELING FOR INSIGHTS, NOT NUMBERS - THE EXPERIENCES OF THE ENERGY MODELING FORUM OMEGA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE Huntington, H. G., Weyant, J. P., Sweeney, J. L. 1982; 10 (5): 449-462
  • Modeling For Insights, Not Numbers: The Experiences of the Energy Modeling Forum Omega Sweeney, J., Weyant, J., P., Huntington, H., G. 1982; 10 (5): 449-462
  • Aggregate Elasticity of Energy Demand principal author with EMF 4 Working Group members, The Energy Journal Sweeney, J. 1981; 2 (2): 37-75
  • The U. S. Oil and Gas Supply Energy Modeling Forum Working Group 5. Energy Modeling Forum, Stanford University Sweeney, J. 1981
  • World Oil: Preliminary Results from the Energy Modeling Forum Study Kvartals Skrift Sweeney, J. 1981: 161-179
  • The Energy Modeling Forum: Past, Present, and Future Journal of Business Administration Sweeney, J., Weyant, J., P. 1979; 2 (1): 295-320
  • Effects of Federal Policies on Gasoline Consumption Resources and Energy Sweeney, J. 1979; 2: 3-26
  • Methodologies for Petroleum Product Price Forecasting: A Review Topics in Energy, Data Resources, Inc. Sweeney, J., Flaherty, M., Therese 1978: 1-45
  • Energy Policy Models in the National Energy Outlook Management Science Sweeney, J., Hogan, W., W., Wagner, M., H. 1978; 10: 37-62
  • Optimal Growth with Depletable Resources Resources and Energy Sweeney, J., Garg, P., C. 1978; 1 (1): 43-56
  • The Impact of the President's Proposed Gasoline Tax and Gas-Guzzler Tax on Gasoline Consumption DRI Energy Bulletin Sweeney, J. 1977: 6-11
  • ECONOMICS OF DEPLETABLE RESOURCES - MARKET FORCES AND INTERTEMPORAL BIAS REVIEW OF ECONOMIC STUDIES Sweeney, J. L. 1977; 44 (1): 125-141
  • MODELING HOUSING MARKETS - COMMODITY HIERARCHIES IN A SPATIAL SETTING STANFORD JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES Sweeney, J. L. 1974; 9: 167-197
  • A Commodity Hierarchy Model of the Rental Housing Market Journal of Urban Economics Sweeney, J. 1974; 1 (3): 288-323
  • Modeling Housing Markets: Commodity Hierarchies in a Spatial Setting Stanford Journal of International Studies Sweeney, J. 1974; 10: 167-197
  • Housing Unit Maintenance and the Mode of Tenure Journal of Economic Theory Sweeney, J. 1974; 8 (2): 111-138
  • HOUSING UNIT MAINTENANCE AND MODE OF TENURE JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC THEORY Sweeney, J. L. 1974; 8 (2): 111-138
  • QUALITY, COMMODITY HIERARCHIES, AND HOUSING MARKETS ECONOMETRICA Sweeney, J. L. 1974; 42 (1): 147-167
  • COMMODITY HIERARCHY MODEL OF RENTAL HOUSING MARKET JOURNAL OF URBAN ECONOMICS Sweeney, J. L. 1974; 1 (3): 288-323

Books and Book Chapters


  • Model Comparison for Energy Policy and Planning in Energy Policy Planning Sweeney, J. : 1
  • Resource Depletion, Research and Development and the Social Rate of Discount: A Commentary and Extension in The Rate of Return for Energy Investment Sweeney, J. edited by Lind, R. : 1
  • Principles of Geographic Market Definition Manual on Antitrust Economics, Economics Committee Antitrust Division Sweeney, J. American Bar Association.. : 1
  • The Theory and Practice of Energy Aggregation in Aggregate Elasticity of Energy Demand Sweeney, J., Borison, A., B., Wilson, T., F. : 1
  • Price and Quantity Change Decomposition for Aggregated Commodities in Aggregate Elasticity of Energy Demand Sweeney, J. Energy Modeling Forum.. : 1
  • Barriers to Implementing Low Carbon Technologies Climate Change Economics Gillingham, K., Sweeney, J. World Scientific Publishing Company. 2012: 1
  • Market Failure and the Structure of Externalities Harnessing Renewable Energy in Electric Power Systems Gillingham, K., Sweeney, J. edited by Moselle, B., Padilla, J., Schmalensee, R. RFF Press. 2010: 1
  • Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impact.) America's Energy Future Panel on Alternative Liquid Transportation Fuels America's Energy Future Panel on Alternative Liquid Transportation Fuels; National Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Engineering; National Research Council. Sweeney, J. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.. 2009: 1
  • America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation. Committee on America’s Energy Future National Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Engineering; National Research Council. Sweeney, J. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.. 2009: 1
  • Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two.) Committee on Prospective Benefits of DOE’s Energy Efficiencey and Fossil Energy R&D Programs (Phase Two). Sweeney, J. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.. 2007: 1
  • Hydrogen for Light Duty Vehicles: Opportunities and Barriers in the United States Chapter 17 in Human-Induced Climate Change: An Interdisciplinary Assessment Sweeney, J. edited by Schlesinger, M. Cambridge University Press. 2007: 1
  • National Security Consequences of U.S. Oil Dependency. Independent Task Force Report Sweeney, J. Council on Foreign Relations. 2006: 1
  • California Electricity Restructuring, the Crisis, and its Aftermath Chapter 10 in Electricity Market Reform: An International Perspective Sweeney, J. edited by Shioshansi, P., Pfaffenberger, W. Elsevier. 2006: 1
  • Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase One): A First Look Forward. Committee on Prospective Benefits of DOE’s Energy Efficiencey and Fossil Energy R&D Programs (Phase One.) Sweeney, J. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.. 2005: 1
  • The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs Committee on Alternatives and Strategies for Future Hydrogen Production and Use. Sweeney, J. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.. 2004: 1
  • Natural Resource Economics The Social Science Encyclopedia Sweeney, J. Routledge, London. 2004; 3: 1
  • The California Electricity Crisis. Sweeney, James, L. Hoover Institution Press. Stanford California.. 2002
  • Energy Research at DOE: Was It Worth It? Committee on Benefits of DOE R&D in Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy. Sweeney, J. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.. 2001: 1
  • Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. Committee on Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. Sweeney, J. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.. 2001: 1
  • Energy Economics International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences Sweeney, J. edited by Smelser, Neil, J., Baltes, Paul, B. Pergamon, Oxford. 2001: 4513-4520
  • Trade and Industry Impacts of the Kyoto Protocol. Montgomery, W., David, Sweeney, James, L. (White Paper) The Business Roundtable.. 1999
  • Environmentally Significant Consumption: Research Directions edited by Stern, Paul, C., Ruttan, Vernon, W., Socolow, Robert, H. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.. 1997
  • Natural Resource Economics in The Social Science Encyclopedia Sweeney, J. Routledge, London. 1996: 1
  • Economics of Depletable Resources: Market Forces and Intertemporal Bias Review of Economic Studies, Reprinted in The Economics of Exhaustible Resources Sweeney, J. edited by Heal, G. Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd., London. 1993: 125-141
  • Economic Theory of Depletable Resources: An Introduction Chapter 17 in Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics Sweeney, J. North Holland. 1993: 1
  • Potential Costs and Regulatory Burdens of the Energy Policy Act of 1992: Provisions for Alternative Fuel Vehicles. (Monograph) Montgomery, D., Rhodes, M., Sweeney, J. DRI/McGraw-Hill and Charles River Associates. 1993
  • Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics edited by Kneese, A., V., Sweeney, James, L. North Holland. 1993
  • The National Energy Modeling System Committee on the National Energy Modeling System, National Research Council Sweeney, J. National Academy Press. 1992: 1
  • Fuels to Drive our Future Committee on Production Technologies for Liquid Transportation Fuels,Principal Author, Chapter 3 and Appendix D. Sweeney, J. National Academy Press. 1990: 1
  • Production Costs for Alternative Liquid Transportation Fuels Methanol As An Alternative Fuel Choice: An Assessment Sweeney, J. edited by Kohl, W. The Johns Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute, Washington D.C.. 1990: 1
  • Price Asymmetry in the Demand for Energy Energy Demand Prospects & Trends Sweeney, J., Fenichel, D. edited by Stevens, P. Camelot Press Ltd. Southhampton, Great Britain. 1987: 48-70
  • Macroeconomic Impacts of Energy Shocks edited by Hickman, Bert, G., Huntington, H., Sweeney, J. North Holland. 1987
  • The Response of Energy Demand to Higher Prices: What Have We Learned? American Economic Review, also published in Global Energy Interactions Sweeney, J. edited by Pachauri, R., K. Allied Publishers Private Limited, New Delhi, India. 1984, 1987: 31-37,573-584
  • Energy Model Comparison: An Overview in Large-Scale Energy Models -- Prospects and Potential Sweeney, J. Westview Press, Inc., Boulder, CO. 1983: 191-217
  • The Relationship Between Energy Use and the Economy in Energy Independence for the United States,The Newport Foundation, 1981. Also published in U.S. Options for Energy Independence Sweeney, J., Kamrany, Nake, M. Nake M. Kamrany, D. C. Heath & Co.. 1982: 1
  • World Oil Energy Modeling Forum Working Group 6, Energy Modeling Forum Sweeney, J. Stanford University, Stanford, California. 1982: 1
  • Energy Modeling Forum 5: U.S. Oil and Gas Supply in Energy Modeling III: Dealing with Energy Uncertainty Sweeney, J. 1981: 283-303
  • Energy Policies and Automobile Use of Gasoline in Selected Studies on Energy/Background Papers for Energy: The Next Twenty Years Sweeney, J., Landsberg, H., H. Spring. 1980: 93-125
  • Energy Problems and Policies in The Economy in the 1980's: A Program for Growth and Stability Sweeney, J. Institute for Contemporary Studies, San Francisco, Spring. 1980: 353-392
  • The Energy Modeling Forum, an Overview in Validation and Assessment Issues of Energy Models Sweeney, J. edited by Gass, S. U.S. Department of Commerce/National Bureau of Standards Special Publication. 1980: 65-96
  • The Energy Modeling Forum: Past, Present, and Future in Energy Policy - The Global Challenge, Fall 1979, also in Energiemodelle für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland Sweeney, J., Weyant, J., P. edited by Nemetz, P., N., Voss, A., Schmitz, K. Institute for Research on Public Policy, Verlag TUV Rheinland Koln, Spring. 1980: 149-167
  • Overview in Electric Load Forecasting: Probing the Issues with Models Sweeney, J. EMF Report 3. 1980: 5-15
  • Electric Load Forecasting: Probing the Issues with Models Energy Modeling Forum Working Group 3 Sweeney, J. Energy Modeling Forum, Stanford University, Stanford, California. 1980: 1
  • New Car Efficiency Standards and the Demand for Gasoline in Advances in the Economics of Energy and Resources: The Structure of Energy Markets Sweeney, J. edited by Pindyck, R. JAI Press, Inc., Greenwich, Connecticut. 1979: 105-133
  • The Demand for Gasoline: A Vintage Capital Model in Select Papers from Workshops on World Energy Supply and Demand Sweeney, J. International Energy Agency, Paris. 1978: 240-277
  • Effects of Federal Policies on Gasoline Consumption Foresight: The Economic Impact of Energy Conservation Sweeney, J. Library of Congress. 1978: 241-225
  • Energy Regulation: Solution or Problem? in Options for U.S. Energy Policy Sweeney, J. Institute for Contemporary Studies, San Francisco. 1977: 179-209
  • National Energy Outlook major contributor, directed development of supply/ demand/price forecasts, Federal Energy Administration Sweeney, J. 1976: 1
  • The Capital Stock Adjustment Process and the Demand for Gasoline; A Market Share Approach in Economic Dimensions and Energy Supply and Demand Sweeney, J., Cato, D., B., Rodekohr, M., E. edited by Kraft, J., Askin, B. Lexington Books, Lexington, Massachusetts. 1976: 1
  • Project Independence Report Federal Energy Administration Sweeney, J. 1974

Conference Proceedings


  • Energy Modeling Forum 4: Aggregate Elasticity of Energy Demand Sweeney, J., Hogan, W., W., Weyant, J., P.
  • Optimal Control and Time Consistent Equilibria in Dominant Firm/Competitive Fringe Dynamic Games Sweeney, J., del Sol, P. 1989
  • U.S. Oil and Gas Supply Study Sweeney, J., Weyant, J., P. 1980
  • Structural/Econometric Modeling of Gasoline Consumption Sweeney, J. 1978
  • Energy and Economic Growth: A Conceptual Framework Sweeney, J. edited by Kursunoglu, B., Permutter, A. 1978, 1979, 1979, 1980
  • Demand for Gasoline: Application of Commodity Hierarchy Theory Sweeney, J., Cato, D., B., Rodekohr, M., E. 1975
  • A Mathematical Model of Housing Markets Sweeney, J. 1974
  • Toward Housing Market Dynamics Sweeney, J. 1974