Power after Carbon: Building a Clean, Resilient Grid (Hardback)
  • Power after Carbon: Building a Clean, Resilient Grid (Hardback)

Power after Carbon: Building a Clean, Resilient Grid (Hardback)

Hardback 456 Pages
Published: 19/05/2020
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As the electric power industry faces the challenges of climate change, technological disruption, new market imperatives, and changing policies, a renowned energy expert offers a roadmap to the future of this essential sector.

As the damaging and costly impacts of climate change increase, the rapid development of sustainable energy has taken on great urgency. The electricity industry has responded with necessary but wrenching shifts toward renewables, even as it faces unprecedented challenges and disruption brought on by new technologies, new competitors, and policy changes. The result is a collision course between a grid that must provide abundant, secure, flexible, and affordable power, and an industry facing enormous demands for power and rapid, systemic change.

The fashionable solution is to think small: smart buildings, small-scale renewables, and locally distributed green energy. But Peter Fox-Penner makes clear that these will not be enough to meet our increasing needs for electricity. He points instead to the indispensability of large power systems, battery storage, and scalable carbon-free power technologies, along with the grids and markets that will integrate them. The electric power industry and its regulators will have to provide all of these, even as they grapple with changing business models for local electric utilities, political instability, and technological change. Power after Carbon makes sense of all the moving parts, providing actionable recommendations for anyone involved with or relying on the electric power system.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674241077
Number of pages: 456
Dimensions: 210 x 140 mm


Power after Carbon calls to attention the dramatic changes in the electric power sector over the last decade. Fox-Penner leads us on a serious exploration of the various technologies, fuels, and system designs that transcend easy fixes to today’s challenges and opportunities: the drive for net zero carbon emissions; the rise of wind and solar; and the emphasis on both reliability and resilience. - Ernest Moniz, former US Secretary of Energy

Peter Fox-Penner is among the world’s most respected and admired electricity experts—deeply informed, astute, and wise. This clear and engaging distillation of his insights will enlighten and stimulate readers in all sectors and at all levels. - Amory B. Lovins, Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus, Rocky Mountain Institute

Clearly written, assiduously researched, and never fantastical, Power after Carbon is a delight-filled primer for how to overhaul our electricity grid for the twenty-first century. If Fox-Penner can imagine and explain a carbon free system, then surely we can conceive of a way to build it! - Gretchen Bakke, author of The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future

Examines many important issues that require attention if society elects to accelerate carbon emission reductions through greater electrification of transportation and other end uses for energy…Fox-Penner has written a magnum opus for electricity regulators and other analysts working in this area. - William F. Hederman, Regulation

Peter Fox-Penner has once again written a book that captures the zeitgeist of the electric utility industry at a pivotal moment. How we decarbonize the US power supply and incorporate new technologies, while still providing reliable and affordable electric service, is a daunting task. Power after Carbon lays out both the challenges and possible paths forward in a clear and cogent way, and should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand this industry. - Sue Kelly, former President and CEO, American Public Power Association

The rapid transition to 100 percent clean energy generation requires not only political will, but also an understanding of the difficult choices that decision makers and advocates must address. This book clearly and comprehensively explains the decisions that must be made, the steps that must be taken, and the interactions between policy and technology judgments that must be understood. It is a must-read if we are to succeed in this critical task. - Ken Berlin, President and CEO, The Climate Reality Project

Fox-Penner does it again! This unique, timely, and invaluable addition to the canon confronts our powerlessness before the ‘Almighty Grid’ and organizes our collective thinking in the wider field. A must-read for anyone interested in the energy transition that will affect us all. - Malik Dahlan, Chair of International Law and Public Policy, Energy Law Institute, Queen Mary University of London

It is increasingly clear that climate change is the central issue of this century, yet global emissions continue to rise. On paper, decarbonizing the electric system is the easy part, but in the real world, it’s not so simple. In Power after Carbon, Peter Fox-Penner tackles the many thorny questions that arise, presenting a vision for how change is possible, if we rise to the occasion. - Jeremy Grantham, Cofounder and Chief Investment Strategist, Grantham, Mayo & van Otterloo

In Power after Carbon, Fox-Penner uses his options framework to address the energy industry’s advances over the last decade. This excellent book will be particularly valuable to industry leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders as we design the paths forward for our companies, and the customers and communities we serve. - Robert Rowe, President and CEO, Northwestern Energy

As the world sits on the precipice of an energy transformation, Power after Carbon provides a detailed look at the technology and policy challenges we will need to confront on the way to a fully clean grid. Even though the scope of the change is immense, Fox-Penner deftly paints a clear vision of what is possible, making this book an essential resource for anyone looking to understand what comes next in our energy future. - Alicia Barton, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

If you’re serious about climate policy, read this book. - Joseph Romm, author of Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know

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