Creative Destruction and the Electric Utility of the Future


Non-Fiction - Gov/Politics
238 Pages
Reviewed on 04/15/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

Creative Destruction and the Electric Utility of the Future by David J. Hurlbut, PhD, is an informative presentation on a critical topic. The power sector is changing and faces obsolescence (creative destruction), but not just in its technology. “Technology is part of the story,” Dr. Hurlbut writes, “but the drama and the trauma are found in the socioeconomic forces that propel the transition. The utility of the future is not about technology; it’s about choice and competition. It’s not about the role of government going away; it’s about government taking on a new role.” In lay terms and in a well-crafted narrative, aided by a sprinkling of illustrations and a couple of case studies, Dr. Hurlbut lays out the history and issues surrounding our current system, describes why it’s becoming obsolete, and then addresses the future. An Afterword discusses net metering for rooftop solar and baseload generation.

I read Creative Destruction and the Electric Utility of the Future with interest and recommend it to others. Dr. Hurlbut writes from a philosophical standpoint as much as an analytical one. He speaks of the inter-relatedness of power generation to other aspects of our lives and environment; he has persuaded me that cost and reliability aren’t the only issues, and that the solutions won’t be the same everywhere. “This book is a call to invent new synergistic approaches,” he urges, rather than passing the burden to future generations. “Shifting socioeconomic undercurrents are rendering conventional thinking insufficient.” This isn't just an educational book, albeit for some it will be an eye-opening, and thought-provoking read. It's a call to action.