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Amory Lovins

Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus
  • Strategic Analysis and Engagement

Physicist Amory Lovins (1947– ) is Cofounder (1982) and Chairman Emeritus of Rocky Mountain Institute, which he served as Chief Scientist 2007–19 and now supports as a contractor and Trustee; energy advisor to major firms and governments in 70+ countries for 45+ years; author of 31 books and more than 700 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 and former Oxford don, he’s an honorary US architect, Swedish engineering academician, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK). He has taught at ten universities, most recently the Naval Postgraduate School (Professor of Practice 2011–17) and Stanford University, where he’s currently Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Scholar of the Precourt Institute for Energy—but only teaching topics he’s never formally studied, so as to retain beginner’s mind. He served in 2011–18 on the National Petroleum Council and has advised the US Departments of Energy and Defense.

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, mostly coauthored, 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 increasing rather than diminishing returns.

His avocations include fine-art mountain and landscape photography (www.judyhill.com), writing, music, linguistics, great-ape language and conservation, and Taoism.

Location

Basalt, CO

Twitter

@AmoryLovins

Downloadable Bios

General Audience

Energy/Security Audience

Automotive/Transportation Audience

Architecture Audience

Chinese Language

Authored Works
insight

Imagine a University

Amory Lovins’ address to the 2nd Appalachian Leadership Summit and
 University of North Carolina Energy Leadership Challenge, Appalachian State University, in Boone, North Carolina, 17 July 2013.

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…

Blog

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…

Blog

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…