Researchers at the Institute benefit from an internal library service. Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America's energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. It’s not the much more massively sized transmission system and generation components. Bloomsbury, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-1-60819-610-4. Their cautiousness is founded in the view that changes to the grid’s rules will undoubtedly have long-term effects and could be expensive. Her dissertation was on Contemporary Slovene Art and Artifice. Her book The Grid was selected by Bill Gates as one of his top five reads of 2016. She shows that in the beginning of the electric industry, there were several hundred isolated grids which eventually interconnected and became the three regional grids that cross the country. She is a former fellow in Wesleyan University's Science in Society Program and currently an assistant professor of anthropology at McGill University. She takes the reader back to the era of Thomas Edison and Nicholas Tesla to show how the grid—something we now expect as a common right— started as a tangle of competing technologies and business interests largely for the elite set. Bakke gives the grid the broadest meaning which encompasses not just the transmission and distribution systems with which the term is commonly associated. Appropriately, she avers that the grid is “a complex and expansive electrical delivery system that we care little for and think even less about.”. In her debut, Bakke (Anthropology/McGill Univ.) Gretchen Bakke holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Cultural Anthropology.Her work focuses on the chaos and creativity that emerges during social, cultural, and technological transitions. 2. For speaking engagements, represented by: By Gretchen Bakke If we trust the president, we believe that he is, if nothing else, a businessman. Bakke is a former fellow in Wesleyan University’s Science in Society Program, a former Fulbright fellow, and is currently a guest professor at Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment (IRI THESys) at Humboldt University. Gates is a proud nerd, and nowhere is that more evident than in his enthusiastic praise for Gretchen Bakke's book about our electrical infrastructure. It was not designed to move electricity from one customer to another via the grid. It is also a platform for sharing ongoing research projects that develop digital tools. . She also gives meaning to the power plants which generate the electricity. This is a phenomena arising from the emergence of customer-owned generation. (There is also some early discussion of the years that preceded it. Author David Bodanis. Her e-mail address is bakke@uchicago.edu. Author Neil deGrasse Tyson. The California energy crisis of 2000-01 caused a utility to go bankrupt and another one to nearly go bankrupt, unlike her assertion that two went bankrupt. The Institute also comprises of a Research IT Group—specialist in digital humanities—doctoral students, and research and teaching cooperations with other institutions worldwide. Author Neil deGrasse Tyson. This section provides access to published research results and electronic sources in the history of science. That slow pace of change is a result of the regulator’s approach to meeting their responsibility to the public. The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) engages with the research community and broader public, and is committed to open access. What largely motivates utilities to install smart meters is: 1. Principles by Ray Dalio The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker High Output Management by Andy Grove Poor Charlie's Almanack by Charles T. Munger Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb Reviews "This volume is a very welcome corrective to the bifurcation of anthropological inquiry into the arts that has sustained the surprisingly persistent notion of ‘non-Western’ and ‘contemporary’ arts as inevitably distinct and discontinuous fields of practice. There is an extensive discussion on what went wrong with Xcel Energy’s SmartGridCity in Boulder, Colorado. Not just large scale wind and rooftop solar photovoltaic, but also electric vehicles and new storage technologies. Founded in 1994, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin is one of the more than 80 research institutes administered by the Max Planck Society. By the time I finished reading the book, the grid had become the grind. Furthermore, Arizona Public Service has signed up half of its customers on a time-of-use rate program without providing them any enabling technology. The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science frequently shares news, including calls for papers and career opportunities. Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America's energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. However, for a book aimed at educating the public about the grid, the tone of the book seems overly strident at times. “And though many [utilities] are now scrambling to find new ways of generating revenue, they are hamstrung at every moment by a regulatory structure that impedes quick changes and trial balloons.”. Many customers are becoming increasingly organic and green in their tastes. 4. Her work focuses on the chaos and creativity that emerge during social, cultural, and technological transitions. PW bookselling editor Judith Rosen explores specialty bookstores for children. Gretchen Bakke, who teaches cultural anthropology at McGill University in Montreal, has sought to resolve this gap in knowledge by appropriately meditating on the grid in her new book. Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America's energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. This interesting 364-page book Public events—including colloquia, seminars, and workshops—are shown on the events overview. It is "a machine, an infrastructure, a cultural artifact, a set of business practices, and an ecology," the result of a Progressive-era combination of business incentives and government regulation, designed for the exact opposite of 21st-century needs. Oklahoma Gas and Electric is running a very successful program where dynamic pricing is coupled with smart thermostats, and has signed up a fifth of its customers on the program. 3. : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. She seems to suggest that Pacific Gas and Electric offered multiple explanations, one of which was the presence of time-of-use rates. “[B]y the 1970s the utilities had ceased to live and function in the real world. The more we invest in ‘green’ energy, the more fragile our grid becomes.”. Customers are incentivized to adjust their thermostat settings by a couple of degrees and it is entirely up to them whether they do so or not. While all this is well known to industry experts, there is a lot to be said for getting these ideas and issues across to the public at large. It was totally repudiated and conclusively rejected by a study carried out by the California Public Utilities Commission. $24.30 The Grid Gretchen Bakke. A native of Portland, Oregon, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Russian and Soviet Studies and Photography from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. 1 A native of Portland, Oregon, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Russian and Soviet Studies and Photography from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. The Grid by Gretchen Bakke : This books tells about grid and how this big infrastructure powers the entire United States. All of those have worked well in other pilots. Along the way, she guides the reader through the physics and engineering of how electricity flows from the power plant to the end user’s appliances, buildings and industrial processes. But these discussions in scholarly and trade journals are often couched in technical language and arcane jargon that makes them inaccessible to the public. Nor do they know how to continue with the existing infrastructure without going out of business.”, Furthermore, “The utilities’ panic is real; it’s not aesthetic, not even greedy, and not particularly malicious. She also asserts that people are so upset with the erratic functioning of the grid that they want to make the power themselves. One of Bill Gates's Favorite Books of 2016 A revelatory look at our national power grid--how it developed, its current flaws, and how it must be completely reimagined for our fast-approaching energy future. Providing energy management tools to customers such as web portals that display hourly load profiles so that they can make smart decisions on how to manage their bills. “This flow of electrons is still doing work every time it passes through a machine.”. Buy this book. Summary: Gretchen Bakke is 65 years old today because Gretchen's birthday is on 11/06/1954. Such as, that today’s rate designs will have to yield to more sophisticated, three-part rates which charge for capacity through kilowatt charges and for energy through kilowatt-hour charges. This is entirely false. $35.96 Anthropology of the Arts 29 December 2016, Hardback. It is their primary weapon in softening peaks. It also includes Samuel Insull’s Chicago Edison (today’s Commonwealth Edison). Ahmad Faruqui is an economist and a principal with The Brattle Group based in San Francisco. Unfortunately, while forty percent of the meters are smart today, and some five to ten million are being installed annually, less than two percent of the customers are on a smart rate. She says she has spoken to people who have “consistently reiterated the view that electricity was a basic human right. He would like to acknowledge the assistance of Phil Hanser and Cody Warner in writing this review. This means that they are becoming more energy efficient and likely to consume less electricity. Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos. She constantly asserts her seemingly strongly-held belief that utilities will not be able to save themselves. For the past decade she has been researching and writing about the … Gretchen Bakke is visiting Professor of Anthropology at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. 4. What If? Bakke offers an erroneous discussion of the Bakersfield problem in which some households alleged their bills had doubled after installation of smart meters. The grid was designed to move electricity from the power plant to the customer and not designed to do the reverse. Author Gretchen Bakke. But the problem was not the workings of smart meters, smart appliances, smart thermostats or dynamic pricing. Providing customers with rates that actually reflect the costs the utilities incur to serve them. She discusses in some detail the large power outages that occurred in 1965, 1977, 1987, 1994 and 2003, and the economic harm they caused the nation. They explain, for example, the difference between series circuits and parallel circuits. Author Randall Munroe. The Grid by Gretchen Bakke Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality by Max Tegmark. She has confused smart-meter enabled smart rates with traditional direct load control programs and load curtailment programs which go back a half-century. Then she goes on to say that the current move toward more sustainable energy solutions will require “a serious reimagination of the grid. She does not realize that the vast proportion of reliability issues are a result of the grid’s weakest link, the distribution system. Gretchen Bakke, The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. …Their power had grown absolute, plodding, and blind…[T]he most risk averse and least facile minds were running the game.”. The surprising omission is the lack of any references to the extensive reports published on various facets of the grid by the Electric Power Research Institute. This has been investigated. Of its three hundred fifty-two pages, forty-seven pages are devoted to documenting her claims in end-notes. : 514-398-4300 Fax: 514-398-7476 Gretchen Bakke, who teaches cultural anthropology at McGill University in Montreal, has sought to resolve this gap in knowledge by appropriately meditating on the grid in her new book.1. “Gretchen Bakke dives deep into the history of the electric power grid . Southern California Edison has five million customers, not fourteen million. Her work focuses on the chaos and creativity that emerge during social, cultural, and technological transitions. That could not possibly be the case since those customers were not on such rates at that time. The narrative is marred by invective. Indeed, the concern of the regional transmission systems’ operators is how much additional risk for outages will be created by the large scale deployment of intermittent resources. That function remains a natural monopoly. A lively analysis. Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour. 11 July 2017, Paperback. The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science comprises three departments under the direction of Jürgen Renn (I) and Dagmar Schäfer (III). Gretchen Bakke holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Cultural Anthropology.She has done research on several failing nations, including the Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, and Cuba. 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