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.
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Your printer is sitting on your desk innocuously, but it actually keeps feeding an insatiable monster. It and its neighbors—lamps, the computer, the scanner—all typically draw electricity around the clock.
Electric vehicle (EV) and clean energy advocates rejoice! The first mainstream EVs to hit dealerships across the U.S., the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, both received top safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As the Associated Press reported: “While both the Leaf and Volt are classified as small cars, the institute said their heavy battery packs put their weight closer to large sedans. The Volt, for example, weighs 3,760 pounds, which is close to the weight of the Chevrolet Impala. The Leaf weighs 3,370 pounds, which is similar to a Nissan Altima midsize car. That extra mass helps protect their occupants, since heavier cars are less likely to be pushed around in a crash.” [emphasis added] But there’s a problem with this last thought: weight is conflated with size.
Victor Olgyay, an RMI Buildings principal who leads Rocky Mountain Institute’s RetroFit initiative, testified today before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight on the impact and importance of fossil-fuel reduction targets and green building rating systems.
I’ve heard the design approach for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Research Support Facility (RSF) described as “first eating your vegetables then having dessert.”