If anyone's wondering how we got to where we are now, I finished this book last week, an act of serendipity considering what we're currently dealing with:
https://www.amazon.com/Grid-Fraying-Bet ... oks&sr=1-1
The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future
I was aware of some aspects of this, especially 1978's PURPA (Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act) and how it affected AE by forcing utilities to take power from anyone (<80MW) and pay the avoided
price, and the effect of the 1992 NEPA (National Energy Policy Act) on the utilities more directly by forcing them to get partially or wholly out of the generation business, but this covers a whole lot else, from the very start of an "electric grid" up to the present.
OT, the book briefly discusses the Depression-era REA (Rural Electrification Administration), which was responsible for giving most U.S. residents living away from cities electricity for the first time. It's somewhat hard to believe, given how used to electricity we are, but some years ago I read an account (I wish I could remember where) of the effect of electrification on one rural family when the REA ran powerlines to and wired their farmhouse. The family had been out working in the fields all day, out of sight of the farmhouse, while the crew wired the house and installed light fixtures and lights. Around dusk the family was walking back to the house, when they saw it and immediately began running towards it, yelling to each other that the house was on fire! After finishing the installation the work crew had turned all the lights in the house on and left them on, and what the family thought was a sign of their house being on fire was the bright blaze of electric light, which they'd never experienced before.
See https://livingnewdeal.org/glossary/rura ... -rea-1935/
for more details of the REA,
and for the effect:
Electricity's Impact on Rural Life
"The Day the Lights Came on"