Daniel Shawhan

Assistant Professor


Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Power market structures subthrust leader, Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT), a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center co-funded by NSF and US Department of Energy

Adjunct researcher, Power Systems Engineering Research Center, a National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Center

Adjunct assistant professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

Member, Environmental Advisory Committee of New York Independent System Operator.  This is the organization that operates the wholesale electricity market and power transmission grid in the state of New York.

Member, Engineering and Economics of Electricity Research Group.


B.A. Grinnell College, Economics

Ph.D., Cornell University, Applied Economics and Management


I have worked in energy-and-environment policy since 1995.  I started as a researcher and writer for the US renewable energy industry associations in their Washington DC offices.  In 1998, I moved to the Tellus Institute, where I helped five states design successful restructured electricity markets and drafted the comments of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates on national electricity policy regarding regional transmission organizations. 

In 1999, I began three years with the Maryland Public Interest Research Group, leading the development of sustainable energy policies in Maryland.  We passed the nation’s first tax credits for hybrid vehicles (later adopted in other states and nationally); the nation’s first fully funded green buildings tax incentive; the first state law to use the LEED building sustainability ratings; Maryland’s renewable energy portfolio standard; Maryland’s environmental labeling of electricity; and a new set of energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment which have since been emulated in other states and nationally.

Returning to school, I did my graduate studies, in economics, at Cornell University, learning from and working with economists and power system engineers including Bill Schulze, Bob Thomas, Tim Mount, Richard Schuler, and Ray Zimmerman.  I finished my PhD, and started as an assistant professor of economics at RPI, in 2008.

Research Interests

  • Innovative power system simulation modeling for planning, operation, and policy analysis
  • Econometric (i.e. statistical) analysis of policy effects
  • Electricity market mechanism and incentive design
  • Air pollution modeling
  • Experimental and behavioral economics, especially with regard to governmental and inter-temporal decision-making


Daniel Shawhan

Department of Economics
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, New York 12180

Office: (518) 331-6186

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