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Book The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future


The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future

4.5 (2002)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Gretchen Bakke Ph.D.(Author)

    Book details

America's electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It's not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources--solar, wind, and other alternatives--the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to re-imagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values. It's a project which forces visionaries to work with bureaucrats, legislators with storm-flattened communities, moneymen with hippies, and the left with the right. And though it might not yet be obvious, this revolution is already well under way.

Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America's energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. The grid, she argues, is an essentially American artifact, one which developed with us: a product of bold expansion, the occasional foolhardy vision, some genius technologies, and constant improvisation. Most of all, her focus is on how Americans are changing the grid right now, sometimes with gumption and big dreams and sometimes with legislation or the brandishing of guns.

The Grid tells--entertainingly, perceptively--the story of what has been called "the largest machine in the world": its fascinating history, its problematic present, and its potential role in a brighter, cleaner future.

The Grid is a lucid and thought-provoking book. (Wall Street Journal)Bakke describes the grid as far more than towers and wires . . . She leads readers through a history of the grid and a maze of financial, legal, regulatory, and environmental considerations with sprightly good humor . . . Finally, Bakke sketches a possible design of the 'intelligent grid' of the future . . . A lively analysis. (Kirkus Reviews)Hopefully, Bakke's startling exposé revealing how electricity sloshes around the country across a precarious grid will be a wake-up call. (Booklist)Gretchen Bakke shows that everything is, indeed, connected. If we want a cleaner energy future, we're going to need a smarter grid. (Elizabeth Kolbert, author of THE SIXTH EXTINCTION)A thriller for nerds! (Louis Beaumier, Executive Director for Trottier Energy Institute)A remarkable achievement. Bakke deftly shows us how a system most of us are happy to ignore--the electrical grid--is both inseparable from everything we think of as civilization and on the verge of complete failure. (Paul Roberts, author of THE END OF OIL and THE IMPULSE SOCIETY)If you want to keep your lights on, read The Grid.This is a smart, deeply reported, poetic book about how electricity moves through our lives (and why itsometimes doesn't).It's a journey through the nervous system of the modern world, one with profound implications for climate change, national security, and ensuring America's well-lit future. (Jeff Goodell contributing editor Rolling Stone, author of BIG COAL)Gretchen Bakke dives deep into the history of the electric power grid . . . The Grid is full of rich detail across a wide range of energy-related topics. (Science)The revolution that impacts every American may not be televised, but, thanks to Gretchen Bakke, it is being written, and written in an extraordinary way. This book tells the compelling story of the invention that has powered the American economy unlike any other, and which was named by the National Academy of Engineering as the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century.What will our future become as we transform it? (Rye Barcott, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Double Time Capital, a clean energy investment firm)

2.5 (4766)
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Book details

  • PDF | 384 pages
  • Gretchen Bakke Ph.D.(Author)
  • Bloomsbury USA (22 Sept. 2016)
  • English
  • 10
  • Science & Nature

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Review Text

  • By Liam on 6 April 2017

    One suspects that this book has been propelled into the limelight from a recommendation by Bill Gates. Indeed, such an important topic- with its impending problems on the horizon - has been covered so little in hardback print that it warrants said propelling into the limelight. However as a book, I am beginning to question if Bill Gates might just have made the right choice when started Microsoft instead of becoming a literary critic.Gretchen Bakke has a PhD in cultural anthropology, which doesn't matter so much as this is a scientifically a very high level book. The problem begins to arise when she starts swaying between aiming the book towards those who don't know their AC form their DC, and aiming the book towards those interested in the statistical details. At times we are given paragraph upon paragraph of fascinating statistics on blackout occurrences and the danger it poses to the military and worse - Facebook. Only for this detail to be shortly followed by page upon page of opinion, such as the the enjoyment we would have in life if there were more blackouts and less computer time. The chapters seem to lack direction and sometimes paragraphs are oddly disconnected from the prior.The continue criticising the book would be seriously unfair to a book that should have been dissected by the publisher. The essence of the book is great. The history of the grid from Westinghouse, through Carter and to modern day, was certainly a great addition to the book. The statistics on the grid and problems it faces are certainly in there. The problem is they are just too scattered and lack some coherent chapteral direction.An immense effort but alas not an immense book.

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