Donate Menu

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.

LOCATION

Basalt, CO

TWITTER HANDLE

@AmoryLovins

DOWNLOADABLE BIOS

General Audience

Energy/Security Audience

Automotive/Transportation Audience

Architecture Audience

Chinese Language

Authored Works
insight

Proliferation, Oil, and Climate: Solving for Pattern

In this essay, Amory Lovins discusses the problems of proliferation, oil, and climate. These three formidable problems, though treated as distinct, share common causes and solutions. New energy and climate solutions can strengthen security and prosperity by shifting strategy for the NPT Review Conference. Nuclear power’s astonishing eclipse by cheaper,…

insight

On Proliferation, Climate, and Oil: Solving for Pattern

Proliferation, climate change, and oil dependence share both nuclear non-solutions that frustrate U.S. foreign-policy goals and non-nuclear solutions that can achieve them. This synthesis of all three issues shows how reconciling foreign with domestic energy policy can solve these and other big problems at a profit. This essay, first posted…

insight

Nuclear Power’s Competitive Landscape

A hotly debated topic, the present and future state of nuclear power and its competitors are the subjects of this presentation by Amory Lovins at RMI2009. Lovins argues that nuclear power is losing to micropower and renewable energy choices because they are cheaper, even with carbon pricing. Likewise, energy end-use…

insight

Climate: Eight Convenient Truths

In this article from Roll Call, Amory Lovins provides eight arguments for Congress to pass climate change legislation. He argues that protecting the climate is profitable and describes steps that can be taken to promote energy efficiency and save fossil fuels.

insight

Nuclear Power: Climate Fix or Folly?

This semitechnical article, summarizing a detailed and documented technical paper (see “The Nuclear Illusion” (2008)), compares the cost, climate protection potential, reliability, financial risk, market success, deployment speed, and energy contribution of new nuclear power with those of its low- or no-carbon competitors. It explains why soaring taxpayer subsidies haven’t…

insight

“New Nuclear Reactors, Same Old Story”

The dominant type of new nuclear power plant, light-water reactors (LWRs), proved unfinanceable in the robust 2005–2008 capital market, despite new U.S. subsidies approaching or exceeding their total construction cost. New LWRs are now so costly and slow that they save 2–20× less carbon, 20–40× slower, than micropower and efficient…

insight

Does a Big Economy Need Big Power Plants

Amory Lovins wrote this piece as an invited blog for the New York Times “Freakonomics” column in 2009. In it, he argues for the use of distributed generation and “micropower” instead of big, central power plants. “…

insight

Lovins’ Response to “The Homely Costs of Energy Conservation”

This piece, by Amory and Judy Lovins, was written in response to an article in The Wall Street Journal about the design, construction, and renovation of the Lovins’ home. The Lovins’ response draws economic conclusions opposite to those in the article, explaining how the house uses integrative design and clarifying…

insight

Nuclear Nonsense

Stewart Brand’s book, Whole Earth Discipline, features a chapter claiming that new nuclear power plants are essential and desirable, and that a global nuclear “renaissance” is booming. Amory Lovins reviews the book and finds fatal flaws in the chapter’s facts and logic. Lovins explains why each of Brand’s claims are…