RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute’s blog, explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources.
Plug Into New Ideas
Electric vehicles have tremendous potential to reduce U.S. dependence on oil and improve our environment. To realize that goal, industry leaders must learn new ways to communicate with their customers. But it’s not just the automaker’s responsibility. Electric vehicles require coordination among a range of industries—utilities, manufacturers and electricians will each play a role. And how they communicate their role could shape future of this industry.
This spring, Rocky Mountain Institute’s founder and Chief Scientist Amory Lovins ventured away from the arid mountains of Colorado—where he has been holed up for many months writing a book called "Reinventing Fire"—for the damp seascape of Seattle.
The industrial sector has produced the material goods and refined fuels required to meet the desires and aspirations of society. From cars to cardboard, U.S. industries fuel the economy by creating jobs, and generating products of enormous utility. In 2009, industrial shipments were valued at six trillion dollars, or 46.7 percent of GDP. However, the magnitude of industrial operations has a hidden cost: it requires a prodigious input of material and energy.
At the Building Energy Modeling Innovation Summit last month, participants shared their vision of the future of energy modeling and how it can drive widespread solutions for low-energy buildings with reduced electric demand. Here’s what a few of them said….
What exactly is a ‘zombie building’? “Toadstools?” Or M&V? What’s a roof pack and what’s a RTU? Each of these questions was raised last week at a workshop convened by Rocky Mountain Institute and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Association in Boulder. The Energy Efficiency and Capital Markets workshop included participants from banks, energy service companies, commercial real estate firms and utility related organizations who came together to discuss the key financing constraints for deep energy retrofits in smaller scale buildings (less than 50,000 square feet).