Posted to Energy Central in the Utility Management Group
Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst, Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

  • Member since 2018
  • 11,431 items added with 1,685,745 views
  • Feb 28, 2023

Dr. Suess's birthday, and with it Read Across America Day, are to be celebrated on March 2. 

As we all know, you're never to old, seasoned, or educated to learn something new. And so we're looking to the Energy Central Community-- what are your key industry-related books you'd recommend? They can be a book that gave you a new perspective, an old favorite that highlights how and why you got into the sector, or even something you wrote yourself (feel free to include a link to where your peers on Energy Central can find it). 

So what are your must-read books for fellow energy & utility professionals? 

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The transformations not only in power sector but also the other sectors are a reflection of the changes induced in the environment over the last 2-3 decades.  Despite the initial warnings, ‘Climate Change’ was not addressed seriously and when the repercussions of climate change (including the recent pandemic) became a little more serious, attention on reducing fossil fuels (supposed to be major contributor to climate change) is being attempted pretty seriously.  As I have expressed my views earlier on “How well have we understood Climate Change”, it is indeed time for us to look at it holistically rather than individually.  The recent havoc of floods and drought in several parts of the world has caused damages that need considerable time to recover.  India has been experiencing unprecedented temperatures as early as February (2023) after almost 122 years.  Summers are predicted to be tough and they are indeed good reasons to enhance power generation.  One cannot foresee options other than those being attempted in the recent past (combination of fossil fuel and Renewable) even in the future.  This may present a compelling situation and challenge to power sector not only for generation but more importantly, transmission and distribution.

In my personal opinion, the ideal platform that energy and utility professionals need to bank on is “Energy Central’.  As a member of Energy Central for some time now, I have found it very useful and appropriate for two reasons: one, it has selective team of experts offering constructive opinion from time to time based on both technical and innovative developments.  Secondly, the compilation of energy central publications provides the road map of the future so far as power sector is concerned. 

One has other options based on the specific interest in many publications related to power like, Power Engineering,   Power International, Power info, Renewable energy and so on.  With emphasis on ‘Carbon neutrality’, the entry of IT professionals has given a new dimension to the power sector.  Digitalization and advanced technologies have induced multiple options for the power sector and one may witness an entirely different scenario of power sector in the days to come.

Above all, the readings provide a greater insight into the developments of power sector to explore one’s own innovative ideas for the future. 

An electric industry related book that gives a little perspective about no matter how much things change they really stay the same is Powerline: The First Battle of America's Energy War by Paul Wellston and Barry Casper.

A couple leadership books not necessarily about the electric industry I like are Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High and If You Want It Done Right, You Don't Have to Do It Yourself: The Power of Effective Delegation.  Both of these are skills that seem to be lacking in business today, not just the electric industry.

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Like, Russ mentioned above (re: not about the electric industry), it is a great read to better understand the way we think and the way the customer may or may not think. It also dives deep into data, but more so our relationship to the interpretation of data and RISK. It's a bit of a brainful to read, but worth it.

My favorite recent book is The Power of One More, by Ed Mylett. While not about the electric industry, it is a great read about personal development and leadership!