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Smart Power: Climate Change, the Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities 1st Edition

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1597267069
ISBN-10: 1597267066
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"That Fox-Penner takes on the job of lending structure and clarity to perhaps the most daunting challenge ever to face the electricity industry speaks volumes."
--Diana Moss, The American Antitrust Institute

"This is probably the best holistic treatment of the critical issues facing the electricity industry that I have ever read." --John Caldwell, Director of Economics at the Edison Electric Institute

"Smart Power is the most advanced look at how climate policies will change our energy utilities..." --Joe Romm, Editor of Climate Progress and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

"It's an absolutely terrific piece of work - remarkable scope and depth, while remaining accessible and pragmatic." --John Kwoka, Finnegan Professor of Economics at Northeastern University

"Smart Power paints a sharp picture of the historic challenges facing the utility industry, its regulators and the Nation at large." --Charles Gray, Executive Director of the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners

"Few economist/engineers understand the electricity system as well as Peter Fox-Penner, and far fewer can explain it as lucidly. Whether or not you agree with every detail, his vision of the opportunities, risks, uncertainties, and tipping-points of this vast and crucial industry is powerful and provocative."
(Amory B. Lovins Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute)

"…a thoughtful vision of the opportunities for the electric power industry to make use of new organizational and regulatory frameworks and new technologies so that it can successfully adapt to climate change, energy security and economic efficiency challenges ...."
(Paul Joskow President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)

"If you're serious about policies that place energy efficiency on a level playing field with new energy supplies, and energy policy generally, this book is essential reading."
(Art Rosenfeld former Commissioner of the California Energy Commission)

"Smart Power is the most advanced look at how climate policies will change our energy utilities, from power sources to operations to business models."
(Joe Romm Editor of Climate Progress, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress)

"An excellent treatment of the critical issues facing the electricity industry."
(Thomas R. Kuhn President of The Edison Electric Institute)

"Smart Power paints a sharp picture of the historic challenges facing the utility industry, its regulators and the nation at large. Peter Fox-Penner's urgent call for a bottoms-up solution relying on local, state and regional cooperation and creativity presages the work now ongoing across the country. Smart Power is an essential read for policy makers looking for workable solutions for the next decade and beyond."
(Charles Gray Executive Director of the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners)

"An absolutely terrific piece of work—remarkable scope and depth, while remaining accessible and pragmatic."
(John Kwoka Finnegan Professor of Economics, Northeastern University)

"The thoroughness and authority of the book stand out, and as both a popular policy and business strategy book, Smart Power is a compelling read for a wide range of audiences."
(IPL blog)

"Smart Power is a provocative and balanced thought piece that dissects the existing structure of the power industry to propose a new order."
(Energy Law Journal)

"A valuable and insightful analysis of where the U.S. electric power industry is headed and what it must do to successfully transition to a low carbon environment. This book should be required reading for all industry regulators as they prepare to confront the challenges of this new paradigm."
(Mark Crisson Chief Executive Officer of the American Public Power Association)

About the Author

Peter Fox-Penner is a consulting executive and an internationally recognized authority on energy and electric power industry issues. Dr. Fox-Penner is a principal and chairman emeritus of The Brattle Group, a leading international economic consulting firm.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 1 edition (April 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597267066
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597267069
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

To learn more about Dr. Fox-Penner's most recent book visit www.smartpowerbook.com.

Dr. Peter Fox-Penner is a consulting executive and internationally recognized authority on energy and electric power industry issues. He is a principal and chairman emeritus of The Brattle Group, a leading international economic consulting firm. He is on the advisory boards of Gridpoint and Enviance and is a frequent speaker and author on energy issues.

In his consulting practice, Dr. Fox-Penner advises energy companies, government agencies, and their counsels on energy regulatory and market policy issues. Although his work has spanned most areas within the energy field, his current primary focus is on electric industry competition and structure, global climate change, and energy efficiency policies.

Dr. Fox-Penner's background includes co-founding Environment2004, the Environmental Alliance and Patriot's Energy Pledge; service as a senior official in the U.S. Department of Energy and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and staff positions in the Illinois Governor's office. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the business school at the University of Chicago and M.S. and B.S. degrees in engineering from the University of Illinois.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Zen Kishimoto on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
(For a complete review, see bit.ly/cIG16J)
I have heard bits and pieces of information about how power was generated and transported, with problems like deregulation, in the past. I always wanted to read a book that provides a comprehensive view of the present and the future power industry with their new challenges. I think I finally have found it. Fox-Penner's book is so well organized that those who are not familiar with the power industry can understand where it was, where it is now, and where it is going. This naturally leads to the discussion of smart grid and how it relates to the new challenges in the power industry. The author's description and opinions are very convincing, and his view serves as a good guide to the future of the power industry, not only in the U.S. but also in the world.

The U.S. power industry is very complex. The main players are federal, state, and local regulatory agencies; investors; utilities of several kinds; transmission and distribution companies; retailers; and, of course, consumers. Those players' interests are intertwined in a complex fashion. Their relationships are sometimes positive and sometimes negative. The complexity comes from several problems of significant magnitude. The author discusses those problems and presents a lot of information and statistics, to my satisfaction. Then on the basis of the vast amount of data and information he collected and analyzed, the author predicts two types of future utilities, namely, SI and ESU. I particularly liked the way he explained smart grid in the context of smart power.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Allen Best on September 30, 2010
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For energy policy wonks, this is an excellent overview. It has breadth and depth. Two aspects stand out: His dissection of the business model of utilities, and his detachment. I mean that in a good way. This is neither a polemic nor fluff, but a reasoned, knowledgeable analysis.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ernest Lilley on February 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Author Peter Fox-Penner's Smart Power provides much needed context for discussion on meeting the nation and the world's energy needs. While its target audience is undoubtedly professionals grappling with energy resources and regulations, this look beyond the mechanics of energy production and distribution to the bigger picture of the energy eco-system, how it came to be, where it's headed and where it needs to wind up, offers insights that anyone interested in life on or off the grid needs to understand.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dragondazd on September 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book had a decent background overview of the relevant topics surrounding the smart grid, but when it comes to talking about the smart grid, I was extremely underwhelmed by this one author's vision. What he described as a smart grid didn't sound very smart to me, and he didn't share the range of possibilities when it comes to what a truly "smart" grid could do.

I'm giving this book three stars because it was ok, but definitely didn't give the perspective I wanted about 'the Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities.'
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 19, 2010
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This is the densest book on this subject. It is loaded with facts and solid analysis. If you are looking for substance. this is the one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Halberstadt on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent analysis of alternative futures in power by an economist, taking account of the complex regulatory and industry environments.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book while I was on my way to joining a smart grid project (the second largest in the world currently). Prior to this book, I had no exposure of any sort to the area and was brand new on the terminology. This book was great for me. I picked up on the various initiatives that are underway in the market currently and before I stared the project, I felt I had atleast the basic grasp of concepts that were expected to be successful in smart grid related projects.

Good read and highly recommended for beginners.
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