The electric power industry was traditionally a utility to which people gave little thought. It has stable prices, low business risk, and predictable emerging issues. But great change has shaken the industry—mergers have resulted in large and powerful companies. Natural gas prices have plummeted and gas is replacing coal as the basis for both electricity production and new capacity. Environmental regulation is in flux. And new technologies are transforming all parts of the industry’s value chain. The high cost and new skills demanded by these technologies give rise to unprecedented financial risk. Addressing these new challenges and changes is the perfect book—A Profile of the Electric Power Industry: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century. This book describes how the industry is organized, how it functions, with several unique aspects addressed in depth. These aspects include electricity demand, production, capacity expansion, generating technologies, fuels, regulation of both prices and environmental impacts, and retail products. Global climate change, energy efficiency, and the Smart Grid also receive extended coverage to help you understand the industry’s future.