Where can I find information about the US electricity market?
November 20, 2008 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I would like to learn more about electricity markets, electrical infrastructure, utilities, transmission systems, generation technologies, applicable regulations, etc. Where can I find up-to-date and comprehensive information on these topics?

One good book that covers it all would be ideal.

I'm not afraid of technical information, but I'd prefer something that's mostly conceptual in nature.

In short, I'm looking for a primer on today's electricity system. How does it work? Who owns and operates it? How is it regulated? What's good about it? What's bad about it? Where is it headed?
posted by theexpgen to Technology (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
In the U.S., energy markets are regulated by FERC. Their website has a fair amount of information.
posted by exogenous at 12:50 PM on November 20, 2008

The Energy Information Administration is the granddaddy of information about electricity in the U.S. It's more technical than conceptual, but it's definitely a good start.
posted by General Malaise at 12:52 PM on November 20, 2008

Read The Grid for a good overview of the history of the electrical grid in the US.
posted by bondcliff at 1:06 PM on November 20, 2008

Thomas Freidman touches on this in "Hot, Flat, and Crowded." He focuses on the problems, and speculates on how a future grid might look. Get the book from the library and check the index for the sections you want. I know it's not one single book on the subject, but he has some interesting criticisms of the grid as it exists.
posted by Brodiggitty at 1:18 PM on November 20, 2008

The book INFRASTRUCTURE: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape by Brian Hayes has a couple of chapters about the power grid and generation. IIRC it doesn't go into the regulations or markets very deeply, but covers the rest of the topics you're interested in well, with lots of pictures. The rest of the book is also fascinating.
posted by Emanuel at 1:37 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Electric Power Research Institute
posted by Good Brain at 2:33 PM on November 20, 2008

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