Power interruptions of the scale of the North American Blackout of 2003 are rare, but they still loom as a possibility. Will the aging infrastructure fail because deregulated monopolies have no financial incentives to upgrade? Is centralized planning becoming subordinate to market forces? Understanding Electric Utilities and De-Regulation, Second Edition provides an updated, non-technical description that sheds light on the nature of the industry and the issues involved in its transition away from a regulated environment.
The book begins by broadly surveying the industry, from a regulated utility structure to the major concepts of de-regulation to the history of electricity, the technical aspects, and the business of power. Then, the authors delve into the technologies and functions on which the industry operates; the many ways that power is used; and the various means of power generation, including central generating stations, renewable energy, and single-household size generators. The authors then devote considerable attention to the details of regulation and de-regulation. To conclude, one new chapter examines aging infrastructures and reliability of service, while another explores the causes of blackouts and how they can be prevented.
Based on the authors' extensive experience, Understanding Electric Utilities and De-Regulation, Second Edition offers an up-to-date perspective on the major issues impacting the daily operations as well as the long-term future of the electric utilities industry.
The Electric Industry and Its Traditional Regulated Structure. The Electric Industry Under De-Regulation - An Overview. A History of the Electric Power Industry. Electric Power. Using Electric Energy. Creating Electricity: Power Generation. Renewable Power Generation. Distributed Generation and Storage. Electric Utility Power Systems. Regulation and De-Regulation. De-Regulation at the Wholesale Power Level. The Power Grid in the De-Regulated Industry. Power Distribution in a De-Regulated Industry. Retail Sales in a Fully De-Regulated Industry. Service Reliability and Aging Infrastructures. System Blackouts and Operational Complexity. Glossary. Index.