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Women+Power’s Summer Reading List

June 24, 2021

In lieu of our July and August monthly entries for the EmPOWERment Hub that are submitted by Women+Power board members, we have compiled a list of recommended industry books plus two leadership books for you to consider reading over the summer. We will continue our monthly entries in September. In the meantime, we hope you find this list useful. We would love to hear from you if you do read one of these books and can share any insights gained!

  1. Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines by Richard Muller (2012)

    The near-meltdown of Fukushima, the upheavals in the Middle East, the BP oil rig explosion, and the looming reality of global warming have reminded the president and all U.S. citizens that nothing has more impact on our lives than the supply of and demand for energy. Its procurement dominates our economy and foreign policy more than any other factor. But the “energy question” is more confusing, contentious, and complicated than ever before. We need to know if nuclear power will ever really be safe. We need to know if solar and wind power will ever really be viable. And we desperately need to know if the natural gas deposits in Pennsylvania are a windfall of historic proportions or a false hope that will create more problems than solutions. Richard A. Muller provides all the answers in this must-read guide to our energy priorities now and in the coming years.
  2. The Energy Switch: How Companies and Customers are Transforming the Electrical Grid and the Future of Power by Peter Kelly-Detwiler (2021)

    The way humans produce, distribute and consume power will be cleaner, cheaper, and infinitely more complex within the next decade. In The Energy Switch, leading energy industry expert Peter Kelly-Detwiler looks at all aspects of the transformation: how we got here, where we are going, and the implications for all of us in our daily lives.
  3. Revolutionary Power by Shalanda Baker (2021)

    Revolutionary Power is a playbook for the energy transformation complete with a step-by-step analysis of the key energy policy areas that are ripe for intervention. Baker tells the stories of those who have been left behind in our current system and those who are working to be architects of a more just system. She draws from her experience as an energy-justice advocate, a lawyer, and a queer woman of color to inspire activists working to build our new energy system. In Revolutionary Power, Shalanda Baker arms those made most vulnerable by our current energy system with the tools they need to remake the system in the service of their humanity. She argues that people of color, poor people, and indigenous people must engage in the creation of the new energy system in order to upend the unequal power dynamics of the current system.
  4. The Power Brokers: The Struggle to Shape and Control the Power Industry by Jeremiah Lambert (2015)

    For more than a century, the interplay between private, investor-owned electric utilities and government regulators has shaped the electric power industry in the United States. Provision of an essential service to largely dependent consumers invited government oversight and ever more sophisticated market intervention. The industry has sought to manage, co-opt, and profit from government regulation. In The Power Brokers, Jeremiah Lambert maps this complex interaction from the late nineteenth century to the present day.
  5. The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke (2016)

    America’s electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It’s not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources–solar, wind, and other alternatives–the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to reimagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values. It’s a project which forces visionaries to work with bureaucrats, legislators with storm-flattened communities, moneymen with hippies, and the left with the right. And though it might not yet be obvious, this revolution is already well under way.
  6. Energy Transitions: Global and National Perspectives by Vaclav Smil (2016)

    Based on the best international and national statistical sources, the second edition of Energy Transitions: Global and National Perspectives supplies an in-depth evaluation of how economies and nations around the world are striving to move away from traditional energy sources, the unfolding decarbonization process, and problems with intermittent energies and national transition plans. It supplies readers with a clear introduction to the basic properties of energy systems and key concepts of their appraisal, puts energy transition patterns in long-term historical perspective, and looks at the energy transition in eight of the world’s leading economies. The last chapters focus on the advances in the decarbonization of the global energy supply and consider how the energy transition will continue in the coming decades.
  7. The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin (2020)

    The world is being shaken by the collision of energy, climate change, and the clashing power of nations in a time of global crisis. Out of this tumult is emerging a new map of energy and geopolitics. The “shale revolution” in oil and gas has transformed the American economy, ending the “era of shortage” but introducing a turbulent new era. Almost overnight, the United States has become the world’s number one energy powerhouse. Yet concern about energy’s role in climate change is challenging the global economy and way of life, accelerating a second energy revolution in the search for a low-carbon future. All of this has been made starker and more urgent by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic dark age that it has wrought. A master storyteller and global energy expert, Daniel Yergin takes the reader on an utterly riveting and timely journey across the world’s new map. He illuminates the great energy and geopolitical questions in an era of rising political turbulence and points to the profound challenges that lie ahead.
  8. Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy by Jigar Shah (2013)

    Jigar Shah, internationally recognized for revolutionizing the now multi-billion-dollar solar energy industry, outlines how entrepreneurs and investors can unlock the massive potential that climate change represents. Shah argues that, while new technical innovation is valuable, deployment of existing technologies are the key to reaching our near-term climate targets. Rather than waiting for yet to be developed technology, business model innovation is the key to attract mainstream capital and unlock transformational change.
  9. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner (1993)

    The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city’s growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden–an Eden that may only be a mirage.
  10. Lucky and Good by John Sherriff (2013)

    Trading, poker, investing, gambling, starting a business, baseball, betting on lawsuits, innovation, and one insider’s story about the rise and fall of Enron. In “Lucky and Good,” John Sherriff, former Enron Europe CEO, shares his insights about what went right and wrong at Enron, his current business of betting on lawsuits as well as tales from the poker table and the sporting world to provide very useful and entertaining advice for anyone in business. John Sherriff is the former CEO of Enron Europe, based in London, which was one of the largest commodity-trading organizations in the world.
  11. The Future Leader: 9 Skills and Mindsets to Succeed in the Next Decade by Jacob Morgan

    Based on interviews with over 140 of the world’s top CEOs and a survey of nearly 14,000 people, this book explores the mindsets and skills that will be essential to leading effectively over the next decade and beyond. Jacob purports that while some core aspects of leadership will remain the same, leaders of the future will need a new collection of skills and evolved mindsets to succeed. His commentary includes insights into significant trends impacting the future of leadership; top skills and mindsets future leaders will need and how to acquire them; new perceptions as to what leadership means; and challenges related to future-ready leadership.
  12. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

    Data is relied upon daily to make critical economic decisions, inform government services and programs, develop products and so on. Historically, data collection and analytics have failed to consider the impact of gender bias within data sets. Male experiences and perspectives have often served as the “default” for data collected and considered, while female experiences and perspectives have been treated as “atypical”, often unknowingly. In this book, Caroline Criado Perez investigates how data bias has perpetuated gender inequality in government institutions, businesses, healthcare sector and more. This book will truly change the way you look at the world!