Economics professor David Brown awarded Canada Research Chair for his work on electric power

Research into renewable energy and electricity markets will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Erik Einsiedel - 17 December 2020

Economics professor David Brown has been awarded a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Energy Economics and Policy for his work with renewable energy and emerging technologies in the electric power sector.

CRCs are awarded by the Canadian government to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds. They recognize outstanding researchers who are acknowledged by their peers as current or emerging world leaders in their fields.

Brown’s research analyzes the design of electricity markets, focusing on how to efficiently incorporate renewable energy and emerging technologies, which can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The electricity industry is a complex web of markets and infrastructure that has been built iteratively since the early 1900s. As Brown explains it, the nature of renewable energy creates certain barriers to integrate these resources into the existing system. This has the potential to disrupt the reliable supply of electricity to consumers.

“My research program analyzes existing and proposed policies targeted at alleviating those barriers,” Brown explains. “This work has the potential to improve the operation of electricity markets, design regulatory policy to keep up with the quickly changing technological environment, and reduce the emissions intensity of the electricity sector, thereby contributing to the achievement of climate change targets.”

Brown first became interested in energy economics as a graduate student at the University of Florida, while searching for a research topic that would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. He joined the UAlberta Department of Economics in 2014.

“It is truly an honor to be named a Canada Research Chair among so many great researchers in the CRC program,” says Brown. “The CRC will provide me with the additional time and resources to focus on my research and fund graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Canada attracts really talented graduate students from around the world and I am excited to get to work with them.”

In his spare time, Brown can be found outdoors, either enjoying a run or walking his dog with his partner.

Visit the Faculty of Arts website for the full list of Research Chairs. For more information about the Canada Research Chairs program, visit the Government of Alberta website.

Read the Folio announcement here.