The world is becoming increasingly electrified. For the foreseeable future, coal will continue to be the dominant fuel used for electric power production. The low cost and abundance of coal is one of the primary reasons for this. Electric power transmission, a process in the delivery of electricity to consumers, is the bulk transfer of electrical power. Typically, power transmission is between the power plant and a substation near a populated area. Electricity distribution is the delivery from the substation to the consumers. Due to the large amount of power involved, transmission normally takes place at high voltage (110 kV or above). Electricity is usually transmitted over long distance through overhead power transmission lines. Underground power transmission is used only in densely populated areas due to its high cost of installation and maintenance, and because the high reactive power gain produces large charging currents and difficulties in voltage management. A power transmission system is sometimes referred to colloquially as a "grid"; however, for reasons of economy, the network is rarely a true grid.
Redundant paths and lines are provided so that power can be routed from any power plant to any load centre, through a variety of routes, based on the economics of the transmission path and the cost of power. Much analysis is done by transmission companies to determine the maximum reliable capacity of each line, which, due to system stability considerations, may be less than the physical or thermal limit of the line. Deregulation of electricity companies in many countries has led to renewed interest in reliable economic design of transmission networks. This new book presents leading-edge research on electric power and its generation, transmission and efficiency.