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Amory Lovins

Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus
  • Emerging Solutions

Physicist Amory Lovins (1947), FRSA, is Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus of Rocky Mountain Institute; energy advisor to major firms and governments in 65+ countries for 40+ years; author of 31 books and more than 600 papers; and an integrative designer of superefficient buildings, factories, and vehicles.

Background

He has received the Blue Planet, Volvo, Zayed, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, the MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, the Happold, Benjamin Franklin, and Spencer Hutchens Medals, 12 honorary doctorates, and the Heinz, Lindbergh, Right Livelihood (“alternative Nobel”), National Design, and World Technology Awards. In 2016, the President of Germany awarded him the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse).

A Harvard and Oxford dropout, former Oxford don, honorary US architect, and Swedish engineering academician, he has taught at ten universities, most recently Stanford’s Engineering School and the Naval Postgraduate School (but only on topics he’s never studied, so as to retain beginner’s mind). He served in 2011–18 on the National Petroleum Council. Time has named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers. His latest books include Natural Capitalism (1999, www.natcap.org), Small Is Profitable (2002, www.smallisprofitable.org), Winning the Oil Endgame (2004, www.oilendgame.com), The Essential Amory Lovins (2011), and Reinventing Fire (2011, www.reinventingfire.com).

His main recent efforts include supporting RMI’s collaborative synthesis, for China’s National Development and Reform Commission, of an ambitious efficiency-and-renewables trajectory that informed the 13th Five Year Plan; helping the Government of India design transformational mobility; and exploring how to make integrative design the new normal, so investments to energy efficiency can yield expanding rather than diminishing returns.

Location

Basalt, CO

Twitter

@AmoryLovins

Downloadable Bios

General Audience

Energy/Security Audience

Automotive/Transportation Audience

Architecture Audience

Chinese Language

Authored Works
insight

The Economics of a U.S. Civilian Nuclear Phase-out

In the United States, which trades three-fifths of its electricity in competitive markets, the prohibitive capital cost of new nuclear power plants ensures that only a handful will be built. Nonetheless, with 40-year licenses being extended to 60 years, the 104 existing reactors’ relatively low generating costs are widely expected…

insight

The Atlantic Mann Rebuttal

This article, published in RMISolutions, describes the efforts by RMI and Amory Lovins to work with the American military to combat energy waste. The potential energy savings available to the military are detailed. The article includes a section called, “All Energy Experts on Deck,” in which Lovins compares the design…

Outlet Blog Post

Germany’s Renewables Revolution

While the examples of Japan, China, and India show the promise of rapidly emerging energy economies built on efficiency and renewables, Germany—the world’s number four economy and Europe’s number one—has lately provided an impressive model of what a well-organized industrial society can achieve. To be sure, it’s not yet the…

Outlet Blog Post

Asia’s Accelerating Energy Revolution

In late 2012, RMI’s cofounder, chairman, and chief scientist Amory Lovins spent seven weeks in Japan, China, India, Indonesia, and Singapore observing Asia’s emerging green energy revolution. In February 2013, he returned to Japan and China. Japan, China, and India—all vulnerable to climate change—turned out to be in different stages…

Outlet Blog Post

Lovins on Climate Change: No Breakthroughs Needed, Mr. President

In his recent New Republic interview, President Obama said we “need some big technological breakthrough” to tackle climate change. Mr. President—our nation already has the technologies to protect the climate while advancing prosperity. Here’s how. Your National Renewable Energy Laboratory showed just last June how to produce 80 to 90…

Outlet Blog Post

Lovins On How To End Blackouts Forever

Come hell or high water—and Sandy brought both to many Americans—most of us can’t get the electricity we need. More than two weeks after the storm’s departure, 25,000 homes were still without power. We live high in the Rockies and were unaffected, but a couple of Februaries ago snowstorms knocked…

Outlet Blog Post

Hot Air About Cheap Natural Gas

Would you build a buy-and-hold financial portfolio from only junk bonds and no Treasuries by considering only price, not also risk? Not for long. Yet those who say cheap natural gas is killing alternatives—solar, wind, nuclear—make the same error. In truth, they’re doing the math wrong: the gas isn’t really…

Outlet Blog Post

Opportunities and Challenges for a Sustainable Energy Future

Originally posted as a comment to “Opportunties and challenges for a sustainable energy future” by Steven Chu and Arun Majumdar, Nature, 488, 294–303 (16 August 2012)  My friends Steven Chu and Arun Majumdar ably review above the achievements, prospects, and challenges of the U.S. Department of…

Outlet Blog Post

Don’t Suppress Military-Led Innovation

In this letter, Amory Lovins responds to the wave of recent news on the Senate Armed Services Committee’s disappointing vote to limit the U.S. Department of Defense from pursuing their ambitious alternative fuels strategy. The Senate Armed Services Committee, echoing the House, recently voted 13–12 forbidding the…

insight

A Farewell to Fossil Fuels: Answering the Energy Challenge

Green Footstep is an online assessment tool for reducing carbon emissions from building construction projects and is publicly available at greenfootstep.org. The Green Footstep tool guides the user through the process of life cycle carbon assessment, and then reveals how users can theoretically reduce the net carbon emissions. Some description…