Ahmad Faruqui is a principal with The Brattle Group. He has worked for more than 140 clients on five continents and authored more than a hundred articles, papers, and books on energy economics.
Just about everyone agrees that the nation's electricity infrastructure needs to be modernized. But where should one begin? How long will the process take? How much should be spent on modernization? What portion of the modernization budget should go to generation, transmission, and distribution? What specific technologies should be developed?
These are difficult questions that have no easy answers. A new book by Mason Willrich takes these questions head-on and provides some good answers.
Willrich has worked in very senior roles in the electricity industry since 1979, first at a major electric utility in California, then in the independent power industry. He has also chaired the board of directors of the California ISO.
Earlier, he worked as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command and as an arms control negotiator with the Soviet Union during the Kennedy Administration. He also taught at the University of Virginia law school.
Willrich said he wrote this book to fill a major gap in the literature. He wanted to embrace the entire infrastructure, end to end, so that it would "connect the dots across the boundaries of academic disciplines, silos of government bureaucracies and political jurisdictions."