The first International Energy Workshop (IEW) was organized in Palo Alto in 1981 by Stanford University's Alan S. Manne, one of the founding fathers of energy economics. With the cooperation of Leo Schrattenholzer, a leading energy technology systems specialist at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the workshop became an annual conference, first alternating between IIASA and the United States, and more recently expanding to other locations in Europe, Asia and Africa. Throughout the history of IEW, a number of organizations have contributed to the success of these annual conferences, including notably the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). From 1981 to 1997 the IEW published annual editions of the IEW Poll, which became an important part of the Morita Database, compiled as basis for the IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES). From 2006 to 2008, the IEW was organized by co-directors Leo Schrattenholzer and Joseph E. Aldy. In June 2009 three new co-directors were elected by the IEW Steering Committee to run the International Energy Workshop:
- Geoffrey Blanford, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), USA;
- Massimo Tavoni, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Italy;
- Bob van der Zwaan, Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN).