Review: The Grid by Gretchen Bakke ISBN 9781608196104

Review: The Grid by Gretchen Bakke ISBN 9781608196104

Title: The Grid
Author: Gretchen Bakke
ISBN: 9781608196104
Price: $34.99
Publisher: Bloomsbury Press

Review by Dave Carson

Gretchen Bakke’s The Grid provides a fascinating analysis of the technical and cultural evolution of the US electrical grid. The Grid, while technical in nature, is well suited to readers of varying technical background, offering explanations (when necessary) of fundamental electrical quantities and engineering concepts without detracting from the overall analysis for readers more well versed in technical matters.

After a brief introduction to what will follow, the meat of The Grid begins with a historical overview of the development and commercialization of electricity in the United States. Policy, politics, regulation and monopolies set the tone for the reader’s background lesson in how the current condition of the industry came to be.

Recurring trends in the business of power set the stage for unexpected future trends. Vulnerabilities, energy security, efficiency and connectivity prevail as dominant trends in the analysis of where the grid is heading with respect to the relationship between and roles of the utility and customer.

Overall, an excellent read for anyone interested in understanding the deep connections between energy security, the power business and human nature.

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