“Business of Electricity Generation”, “Overload” by Arthur Hailey

If you want to read about a profession or an industry and have fun reading it then Arthur Hailey is your man. He has written few books, but each of them is a detailed account of how a particular industry works. His research is superb and he uses the actual facts about the industry to build a story and he does it wonderfully. Overload is a book about Electricity generation companies in America. The book is a fiction but at the same time it tells you how the Power industry works.

I read this book some twenty years ago, still some things about the book are as fresh in my mind as though I read it last night. I really cannot forget the details that he provides about safety procedures that are used for disabled people in hospitals and for old and disabled people who stay at home and whose life depends on Electricity. The way hero of the book goes out of way to take care of such people during power outage is really touching. Of course, he has fictionalized it and romanticized it.

The book also talks about fight between environment safety and development. People use newer equipments and need more power but at the same time there is huge opposition to creation of newer power plants. The fact of the matter is that newer power plant will create damage to environment but is the damage worth it. If the damage is not worth it then who needs to make sure that we do not need more power. Until and unless, we reduce power consumption as users, the demand will keep on increasing. The solution is not in stopping of development. At the same time damage to environment is also a concern. The questions are very relevant even today specifically in developing countries who are undergoing similar conflicts on development and environment safety. Maybe there are better ways possible, if we can only think in more innovative ways.

He mentions about damage to environment even if a large solar power plant is created. That is something that I have not digested till today. He gave his logic but somehow I felt it was too shallow. Is there somebody out there who can help me on this?

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10 Comments

Filed under Fiction

10 responses to ““Business of Electricity Generation”, “Overload” by Arthur Hailey

  1. Thanks for Your vision on this book! I also nearly agree with you.

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  2. Anonymous

    The environmenal drawbacks to solar are the shading of the earth beneath the large areas needed to produce energy and as someone said, disposal of old cells. Especially the cadmium telluride cells that First Solar hawks.

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  3. Satheesh

    A few disadvantages with slar power include the higher cost per watt, large area required for installation, day/night variation in energy output, seasonal variation, disposal of the panels after use etc are some of the concerns. That said, solar energy should definitely be considered as a supplementary source. In the next decade or so, the biggest battle for countries like India is to figure out the Energy vs Environment equation.

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    • pkg

      You are right. It will also become important to have distributable power generation. Small communities can utilize their own resources for using renewable energy and reduce the load on grid.

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  4. rohit

    Must be an enjoyable read OVERLOAD by Arthur Hailey. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by “to read” list.

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  5. your blog sure does rank high in bing for some keyphrases,thats how i got here and i must say it deserves the rankings.really liked this post.

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