Summary of Perfect Power

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  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Just when you thought you already had plenty to worry about, experts Robert Garvin and Kurt Yaeger, and writer Jay Stuller report that the U.S.’s electricity supply system is woefully outdated and in danger of widespread outages. Then, getAbstract is glad to report, their readable book also presents an apparently reasonable remedy: “microgrids.” These smart, localized electrical networks conserve and store energy, and can redirect it to the parts of the electrical system that need it most. This bright proposal addresses a serious, but under reported problem. The authors, though perhaps more involved than most objective reporters, discuss electricity’s scientific, social, economic and environmental impact. They make their solution more applicable and appealing by identifying companies that are developing microgrid technology. Unlike so many daunting problems, this one seems surmountable, if the U.S. – state by state – can muster the requisite funding and overcome the gooey regulatory status quo.

About the Authors

Robert Galvin heads the Galvin Electricity Initiative. He is the former Chairman and CEO of Motorola, Inc., where he pioneered “Six-Sigma Quality.” Kurt Yaeger is former President and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute. Jay Stuller, who worked in public affairs and communication for the Chevron Corporation, has written seven books and nearly 1,000 articles.



Six Sigma Electricity

The world’s electrical generating system should have a source of constant electricity that meets the stringent demands of Six Sigma service. That would require constant, uninterrupted electrical power that works 99.99% of the time, despite lightning strikes, terrorist attacks, hurricanes and ice storms. This high standard matters because electricity is constantly essential. Worldwide, lack of electricity contributes to poverty. The availability of electricity is directly linked to economic output. It is the constant energy source behind new technologies that are changing the world.

Despite undisputed demand, the United States’ electrical system is suffering from outdated equipment, including analog switches, relays and the distribution grid itself. Each day, some 500,000 Americans endure an electrical blackout lasting two hours or more. This loss of power costs U.S. businesses $100 billion annually. However, both state regulators and the monopolistic electrical industry have stymied attempts to make the system more efficient. Electric companies’ revenues depend on how much power they sell, not on its quality, efficiency or reliability. This...

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