New on my bookshelf – Smart Power


An addition to my bookshelf will be arriving in the mail this week – Peter Fox-Penner’s new book “Smart Power: Climate Change, the Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities.”

I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Fox-Penner while working at CEQ last year when he met with us to discuss topics related to our work on federal energy and climate policy. I also worked with a colleague of his from the Brattle Group, a DC think-tank that is home to many grid experts. I was impressed by Mr. Fox-Penner’s quick and clear articulation of some of the issues we are facing as we work toward a smarter/cleaner/better electricity sector.

Fox-Penner’s latest book (published in April) discusses the challenges facing the industry in the face of increasing demand for green energy and energy efficiency.

For over a century, the electric utility industry has powered the American dream, creating the world’s largest grid and the power to supply our digital economy. Looking forward, however, the industry is beset by the forces of change. Utilities must respond to global climate change with unprecedented urgency by investing a trillion dollars or more in new sources of power and transmission. We must also implement much stronger energy efficiency policies than in the past, reducing the rate of power sales growth to nearly zero.

As if these challenges were not enough, the industry is also implementing the “smart grid” – an array of new technologies that will allow customers to control their own power usage and use local, renewable generators as never before. These opportunities will force a retooling of the century-old business model and “regulatory compact” that supports the current industry.

To read about the book and its author, check out this website.

More to follow once I have time to sit down and chew through all the bits and pieces that Fox-Penner is sure to present in his latest work.

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