Peter Pearson

Peter Pearson directs the Environmental Policy & Management Research Group at Imperial College London, and is co-director of its Centre for Energy Policy & Technology. His research interests lie in energy/environment transitions and pathways. He headed Surrey University Energy Economics Centre (1989–94) and was Chair (1992, 2002) of the British Institute of Energy Economics. He has served on the editorial boards of Energy Economics, the Energy Journal and Energy Policy, and has acted as a consultant to the World Bank Inspection Panel and the EC.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Five Centuries of Energy Prices

Concerns about rising energy prices tend to occur in times of economic expansion, to disappear in times of recession. A recurring fear is that, in the long run, real energy prices will trend upwards. This paper presents evidence from five hundred years of prices of energy sources for the United Kingdom. Over this time period, there is little support for any general trend of rising fuel prices—and some evidence of significant declines. Using this information on prices and consumer expenditure to weight the series, an ‘average price of energy’ series has been created. Reflecting the substitution away from more scarce fuels (driving prices down) and towards more valuable ones (driving prices up), over more than five hundred years—and albeit with significant long-lived fluctuations—there seems little evidence of a rising long-run trend in the real price of ‘energy’.

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