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Amory Lovins

Chairman Emeritus
Chief Scientist
Co-founder
RMI Trustee
  • Executive Leadership
  • Office of the Chief Scientist

Physicist Amory Lovins (1947), FRSA, is cofounder and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute (www.rmi.org); 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.

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.

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Basalt, CO

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@AmoryLovins

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Energy/Security Audience

Automotive/Transportation Audience

Architecture Audience

Chinese Language

Authored Works
insight

Keeping the Lights On while Transforming Electric Utilities

Electric utilities operate now much as they did a century ago—but the environment in which they operate is changing dramatically. Now more than ever before, utilities whose regulators reward them in the traditional way for selling more electricity risk losing revenue as customers use their electricity more efficiently. Responding to…

insight

DOD’s Energy Challenge as Strategic Opportunity

This unabridged version of an April 2010 article published in Joint Force Quarterly, the magazine of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, describes how two big ideas—endurance and resilience—can turn the DoD’s energy costs and vulnerabilities into sources of breakthrough advantage, major savings in blood and treasure, and…

insight

2010 Micropower Database (May)

2010 (May) Edition: The purpose of the micropower database is to present a clear, rigorous, and independent assessment of the global capacity and electrical output of micropower (all renewables, except large hydro and cogeneration), showing its development over time and documenting all data and assumptions. With minor exceptions, this information…

insight

2010 Micropower Database (September)

2010 (September) Edition: The purpose of the micropower database is to present a clear, rigorous, and independent assessment of the global capacity and electrical output of micropower (all renewables, except large hydro and cogeneration), showing its development over time and documenting all data and assumptions. With minor exceptions, this information…

insight

Nuclear Socialism

In this article in The Weekly Standard, Amory Lovins explains why the current 100+% subsidies for new nuclear power plants are still unable to attract private capital, yet violate free-market principles, hazard utilities’ and taxpayers’ financial health, and should be abolished—along with all other energy subsidies.

insight

Integrative Design: A Disruptive Source of Expanding Returns to Investments in Energy Efficiency

This paper summarizes the principle of integrative design. Integrative design rigorously applies orthodox engineering principles, but achieves radically more energy- and resource-efficient results by asking different questions that change the design logic. Examples described in this paper for buildings, industry, and vehicles show that optimizing whole systems for multiple benefits,…

insight

Renewables, Micropower, and the Transforming Electricity Landscape

This article, published in RMI’s Spring 2010 Solutions Journal, describes micropower’s acceleration in taking over the global market long dominated by central thermal stations. This conclusion is supported by RMI’s Micropower Database (available to download), which recalculates cogeneration capacity and output from primary data sources.

insight

Profitable Solutions to Climate, Oil, and Proliferation

Protecting the climate is not costly but profitable (even if avoided climate change is worth zero), mainly because saving fuel costs less than buying fuel. The two biggest opportunities, both sufficiently fast, are oil and electricity. The U.S., for example, can eliminate its oil use by the 2040s at an…