September 17, 2014

Peter Fox-Penner Takes a New Look at the Electric Utilities Industry in Smart Power Anniversary Edition

Brattle principal Peter Fox-Penner has contributed to an anniversary edition of his 2010 book, Smart Power: Climate Change, the Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities.

Smart Power Anniversary Edition includes the original 2010 text, reviewing the landscape of the electric utilities industry as it contends with mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while still generating enough low-cost electricity to meet the demands of their consumers. The book considers how utilities interact with customers and how the Smart Grid could revolutionize their relationship. Turning to the supply side, Dr. Fox-Penner considers the costs of, and tradeoffs between, large-scale power sources such as coal plants and small-scale power sources close to customers. Finally, he looks at how utilities can respond to all of these challenges and remain viable, while financing hundreds of billions of dollars of investment without much of an increase in sales.

Since Smart Power was published, plunging solar costs, the shale gas revolution, new EPA regulations for power plants, and increasing interest in resiliency have paved the way for a transformation of our utilities. Considerable efforts are underway throughout the industry to address these challenges, as are real shifts towards a distributed grid. In Smart Power Anniversary Edition, Dr. Fox-Penner and other leading industry experts have contributed brand new forewords and an afterword explaining the policy and business challenges electric utilities currently face in light of these developments.

Smart Power Anniversary Edition (Island Press, September 2014) is available at Island Press.

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Dr. Fox-Penner specializes in economic, regulatory, and strategic issues in network industries. His practice centers on energy and environmental policies and electric regulation, planning, and competition issues. More icon f02782c24cccaf6d90e1da53920c42f20e5a8955f54ac2ca5727ec7dc89987b4