January 4, 2018: “Systems Thinking Linking Energy and the Economy: Size, Growth, and Structure

Presentation at the 2018 conference of ICAPE (The International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics).

Abstract: There are a many indicators of the state of the world our economy. It is important to have models and frameworks that attempt to simultaneously describe how these indicators are depending upon each other in a systems context.  Many of these indicators change their trends (e.g., economic growth, distribution of wages and money) simultaneously with changes in the trend of the rate of energy consumption and/or the cost of food and energy.  In this talk Dr. King summarizes trends and indicators regarding the cost of energy and food, with particular emphasis on data for the U.S.  Included is recent research that relates the structure of monetary flows within the U.S. economy to both the cost of food and energy and the rate of energy consumption. Further, while the core costs of food and energy are low today, they are no longer declining, and this is one explanation for low economic growth rates and interest rates in the developed economies post-2008.



December 15, 2017:  “Energy and the Economy over the Long-Term: Size and Structure

Weekly seminar of the Bureau of Economic Geology:

Video (direct link):

Abstract: A long-term and systems-oriented perspective on the role of energy resources and technologies shows that they play a fundamental role in enabling the physical and economic growth of the Industrial era. Yet, most economic modeling approaches do not even consider that energy availability and constraints fundamentally affect the size and structure of our economies. This lack of energy-economic coupling means that most economic frameworks cannot even consider the energy system as an explanatory factor for the Great Recession and the economic “secular stagnation” since 2008. In addition, mainstream economic frameworks cannot explain future implications of large scale changes in the energy system (e.g., a low-carbon transition), even though they are used for this purpose. This presentation shows data to make the case that (1) the declining cost of energy (including food) is an apt explanation for historical growth, (2) worldwide energy and food costs reached the lowest point in history around the year 2000, and (3) the cessation of the decline in energy and food costs (within the U.S.) helps explain structural changes within the U.S. economy.


February 2017: Webinar Summary of the Energy Institute’s “Full Cost of Electricity” Study, for the Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics

Webinar video:



Science for Energy Scenarios conference, France, March, 2016

Suppose we agree how to calculate EROIs … so/now what?, Science for Energy Scenarios, the
3rd Science and Energy Seminar at Ecole de Physique des Houches, Les Houches, France, March 6th-11th 2016. See conference link:

Video (~ 60 minutes):

Presentation (with notes): link


Masaryk University, Czech Republic, March 2016

Summary of Carbon Capture and Storage research, pilots, and economics in the United States (presentation).



Energy and its Relation to Complexity of the Economy, Granada Seminar 2015: Physics Meets the Social Sciences, La Herradura, Spain, June 15, 2015.

Energy, Economy, and Efficiency, presentation for the UT Quest (Opportunities for Learning) program, Austin, TX, April 23, 2015.

Long-term Energy and Economic Trends: Pre-Industrial to Today, presentation for the CleanTX Lunch series, Austin, TX, February 10, 2015.


Energy-Water Nexus, Texas Water Law Institute Conference, November 19-21, 2014, Austin, TX.