ACEP Welcomes Steve Colt to the Team

ACEP Welcomes Steve Colt to the Team

Steve Colt comes to ACEP after 34 years in Alaska as a professor of economics at UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research and at Alaska Pacific University.

He holds B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Williams College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively, and served as ISER director from 2007 to 2010.

Colt’s research has focused on energy systems, sustainable utilities, tourism and climate change in the North. While still in college, he developed an integrated “least-cost” model of energy use and supply for Berkshire County, Massachusetts. His first job, in 1984, was evaluating independent power producer contracts for the California Public Utilities Commission. Colt led Alaska’s first major end-use electricity demand study in 1987 and has worked with teams of engineers and scientists and with local people on both regional and community energy assessments. He recently completed a village energy planning model tailored to small Alaska communities, and he is particularly interested in understanding heat and transportation energy use so that cost-effective integrated systems can be successfully developed for remote isolated communities in — and beyond — Alaska.

At ACEP, Colt will work on the energy economics and policy task of an Office of Naval Research-funded project. He is particularly interested in what he calls “smart pricing for smart grids” — the use of prices and incentives to help guide consumers, utilities, and investors toward cost-effective and innovative energy infrastructure and use.

“Price signals can be very powerful tools, so we ought to think hard about how and where to use them effectively,” Colt said.

He is also hoping to focus on the economic potential for integrating small electric vehicles into Alaska’s microgrids, saying that, “There is no better place than ACEP for examining the opportunities and challenges of EV’s in Alaska!”

Colt will be based in Anchorage at UAA’s Business Enterprise Institute, a longtime ACEP partner. When not working, he enjoys skiing, running and singing.


Steve Colt joins ACEP after 34 years at ISER. Photo by Amanda Byrd.