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
Recent news coverage has focused on how the massive energy demands on our military and defense infrastructure threaten our national security and drain the U.S. defense budget. In fact, The U.S Department of Defense is the single largest consumer of energy on the planet, using roughly 70 percent of our federal government’s energy, costing over $13 billion.
Across the United States, there are nearly 20,000 local municipal and county governments served by a complex system of over 5,000 electric utilities. Each local government sets and enforces electrical, structural, and fire codes, while each utility sets rates and resource plans in conjunction with regulatory agencies. These elements all influence PV project development processes and physical system designs.
Business and policy leaders came together last week at the Aspen Environment Forum for a vibrant exchange of ideas on a variety of topics from energy to food related to how Earth can sustain “our expanding human needs.” RMI Chairman and Chief Scientist Amory Lovins sat down for a conversation with Aspen Institute Senior Fellow in Energy and Environment Jack Riggs to discuss Reinventing Fire.
Building energy modeling has enjoyed a steep adoption and market uptake curve in the last decade. However, the two biggest drivers of today’s modeling demand—the building owner’s need to comply with regulations and codes, and the owner’s desire to comply with voluntary programs like LEED, tax incentives and utility incentives—do not necessarily best support the objective of widespread low-energy building design and operation.
Imagine a world where oil and coal and nuclear energy have all been phased out, all vanquished by the competitors whose lower costs and risks have already enabled them to capture most of the world’s market for new electrical services—energy efficiency, distributed renewables, combined-heat-and-power—and optionally by small amounts of advanced biofuels that use no cropland and move car¬bon from air to tilth; where resilient, right-sized energy systems make major fail¬ures impossible, not inevitable;... Watch Amory deliver the full commencement address or read the full transcript of the address.