—Leonard Hyman, author of America's Electric Utilities: Past, Present, and Future
"Jason Makansi gives us a succinct, insightful view of recent electricity problems. His lively, provocative writing explains the mysteries of the technology, the politics, the regulation, and the market manipulation. Parts of the book may make you mad, but you won't be able to put it down and you will always be learning something."—Lester Lave, PhD, Professor of Economics and Codirector, Electricity Industry Center, Carnegie Mellon University
"This new work is provocative, factual, and will make you think about the situation we face. It is a must-read for anyone even slightly interested in the adequacy of the U.S. power sector and what the future may hold. Industry, regulatory, and political leaders need to read this to see the possible end results of their decisions."—Barry Worthington, Executive Director, United States Energy Association
"Jason Makansi's long history in the electricity business has given him keen insights into the inner workings of the utility industry, and his examples and illustrations, based on his personal attempts at demand side management at home with his family, give a lighter background to what is a profound and sometimes alarming thesis."—Geoffrey R. Egan, PhD, President, APTECH Engineering Services, Inc.
"This book enables even the novice to understand clearly the multifaceted issues facing an electricity-thirsty world. This book lays the foundation for understanding how complex power generation and delivery truly is, and is a clarion call to citizens and consumers worldwide alike to become more informed and more involved."—Timothy McCreary, President, HF Controls
"This thoroughly researched and well-documented discourse explores the litany of issues plaguing the energy industry today. Lights Out will challenge your critical thinking skills and may cause you to question your position on the issues. More importantly, Lights Out proposes realistic solutions that even our elected representatives can comprehend and should seriously consider."—Dr. Robert V. Peltier, PE, Editor in Chief, Power magazine
"Lights Out: The Electricity Crisis, The Global Economy, And What it Means to You points out a troubling reality in today's world--too many people take the electric power infrastructure for granted. Jason Makansi draws on his years of experience to illuminate numerous dimensions of today's US power sector--engineering, political, economic
and financial--to make it all too apparent that taking reliable, affordable and environmentally sound power for granted is a mistake. This book is an important catalyst for a long overdue discussion we all need to have regarding our electric power future."
-- Lawrence Makovich, Managing Director of Cambridge Energy Research Associates Global Power Group
"Jason Makansi’s 25 years experience in the electric power industry, combined with his ability to explain complex technologies in simple terms, makes him the ideal author for this book. It should be required reading for everyone in the trade, the financial community and others providing products and services to the industry, as well as for business schools that teach why technology leadership can be fleeting. And let’s not forget the peeved customer who wants an unbiased explanation."-- Robert G. Schwieger, Editor and Publisher, COMBINED CYCLE Journal
"For anybody who believes that electricity will always be easily available with the flip of a wall switch, Jason Makansi's book Lights Out provides an important education"--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
From the Inside Flap
Electricity powers almost every part of our lives. Yet many of us pay little attention to our electricity service. It's something that's noticed only by its absencesuch as when service is disrupted, and our water, telecommunications, transportation, and banking systems grind to a halt, and our homes, our businesses, indeed, our daily lives, shut down. Curiously, electricity doesn't hold the headlines or dramatic power of oil, even though the ability to ensure its uninterrupted supply at a reasonable price is even more essential to global survival and prosperity. That's because it is still treated and viewed as a parochial industry, the "local utility," despite the fact that it is being moved and shaken by a sophisticated global energy business, and deeply implicated in global environmental issues.
Written by Jason Makansi, one of the world's most seasoned electricity industry experts, Lights Out calls attention to this dangerous paradoxone that is quietly immobilizing progressand proposes a comprehensive road map that will put us on a more rational path and help us avoid the serious consequences of an unhealthy electricity infrastructure.
Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, Lights Out examines our "third-world" transmission grid, one that is in desperate need of upgrading; offers an honest assessment of how to deal with electricity's contribution to global warming; and addresses numerous hot-button economic, environmental, and political issues related to the current debatefrom free markets versus regulation to energy independence versus foreign imports. Beyond just uncovering and illuminating the problems, however, Lights Out also presents a comprehensive collection of technical solutions and regulatory reforms from both the productionand demand sides of the equationa framework forrethinking, rebuilding, and enhancing our entire electricity production and delivery infrastructure.
Divided into three engaging parts, this essential book offers a detailed look at:
How today's electricity system worksfrom the extractionof the raw energy source to the electricity-consuming appliances in your homeand what happens if these "supply lines" begin to break down
Why the strongest, most vibrant economy in the world is increasingly dependent upon a production, transmission, and distribution system that continues to be built for the last fifty years, not the next half century
What can be done to rescue us from the current path we're onfrom embracing new technologies ready for deployment to reformulating business models based on common sense, not market or political ideologies
And much more
Prescriptive and provocative, Lights Out will redefine the simmering debate on how the world canand mustact now to head off the global consequences of inadequate electricity service, consequences that could eventually, and more insidiously, wreak greater havoc than the ongoing tensions in world oil markets.