Owning a Piece of a $5T Prize

Last week, Rocky Mountain Institute launched Reinventing Fire at National Geographic’s headquarters in D.C. There, RMI Chief Scientist Amory Lovins introduced an audience of over 200 to a blueprint for a new energy era, and ways business can lead us to a 158% bigger U.S. economy in 2050 powered by efficiency and renewables.

Watch Amory Lovins at the Reinventing Fire launch event

Besides calling on America’s leaders to capture a piece of a $5 trillion prize available by eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels, Lovins’ presentation included a few equally surprising and memorable points:

—Forty years hence, a far more mobile US economy can use no oil, saving $4T. These 125-240 mpg equivalent autos can use any mix of electricity, hydrogen or biofuels, but no vehicles will need oil.

—As we design and build all kinds of vehicles better, we can also use them smarter. We are wasting billions of dollars each year with idle vehicles, idle roads, and idle people. We can use IT to smooth traffic flow. Proven methods can improve access to transportation saving $0.4 trillion.

—Changing how we make electricity gets a lot easier if we need less of it. Over the next 40 years, buildings can triple energy productivity, saving $1.4 trillion net present value.

—Different electricity futures have the same costs, but dramatically different levels of risk to our security, environment, and human health. Our risks are best managed if our distributed renewable supply lets us redesign the grid to islandable microgrids. This transformation would cost the same as other electricity futures, but it would maximize customer choice, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

—Reinventing Fire provides a credible path to capture these benefits. Our energy future is not fate, but choice. And, that choice is very flexible. Watch now and tell us what surprised you the most about Reinventing Fire.

Watch now and tell us what surprised you the most about Reinventing Fire.