Physics Today has a great article about the structure and economics of today's electrical grid in the US, as well as some historical perspective. Aside from a flippantly wrong statement in the intro ("volatile market prices have essentially been allowed to move in only one directiondownward" -- ever hear of California?), the article abounds with facts & figures. It also discusses the future of electricity in the US, such as distributed generation and intelligent grid technology, though they caution: "a large and growing gap exists between the performance capability of the electricity system and society's needs and expectations."
Thanks for the link. Reminds me of Small Is Profitable by Lovins at al. Seems like (relatively) small scale, distributed generation needs a bi-directional grid and energy storage (buffering). But the savings by using CHP and reduced transmission distances are impressive.