RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute’s blog, explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.
Plug Into New Ideas
The industrial sector has produced the material goods and refined fuels required to meet the desires and aspirations of society. From cars to cardboard, U.S. industries fuel the economy by creating jobs, and generating products of enormous utility. In 2009, industrial shipments were valued at six trillion dollars, or 46.7 percent of GDP. However, the magnitude of industrial operations has a hidden cost: it requires a prodigious input of material and energy.
At the Building Energy Modeling Innovation Summit last month, participants shared their vision of the future of energy modeling and how it can drive widespread solutions for low-energy buildings with reduced electric demand. Here’s what a few of them said….
What exactly is a ‘zombie building’? “Toadstools?” Or M&V? What’s a roof pack and what’s a RTU? Each of these questions was raised last week at a workshop convened by Rocky Mountain Institute and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Association in Boulder. The Energy Efficiency and Capital Markets workshop included participants from banks, energy service companies, commercial real estate firms and utility related organizations who came together to discuss the key financing constraints for deep energy retrofits in smaller scale buildings (less than 50,000 square feet).
It’s hard not to feel a bit underwhelmed by the hybrid vehicles being offered up by automakers today after reading a recent New York Times assessment of the time it takes for buyers of alternative technology cars to recoup the higher sticker price in fuel savings. But what about cars that offer an attractive payback?
This week, more than 130 cleantech leaders gathered to listen to renowned sustainability consultant Amory Lovins at the Northwest Energy Angels (client) luncheon hosted at REI. Lovins, who dropped out of Harvard but has 11 honorary doctorates, 29 book titles in his name (working on his 30th), named TIME’s Hero of the Planet, among dozens of other accolades, co-founded one of the most influential non-profits focused on the efficient and restorative use of resources – Rocky Mountain Institute.