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
Ray C. Anderson was the most visionary, inspiring, and effective green industrialist of the late 20th and early 21st century if not of all time. A brilliant Georgia Tech engineer and entrepreneur with the competitive drive and leadership qualities of an ex-quarterback, he created Atlanta-based Interface, Inc. and led it to unique success in turning green into gold.
While we may be in the midst of an economic recovery, many people are struggling due to high unemployment and the lack of job creation. This pain is not lost on the government, which has pushed for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for “pick and shovel ready” projects. One chunk of money went to the nascent electric vehicle (EV) industry—including companies such as American startup Tesla and foreign companies like Nissan— that are building manufacturing capacity in the U.S.
RMI’s Cofounder and Chief Scientist, Amory Lovins has been questioning the viability of nuclear energy to safely and economically meet our energy needs for the last 35 years in his lectures, writings, research, and consulting work. Always a prolific writer, Lovins has been particularly vociferous with this argument since Japan’s Fukushima disaster, writing four pieces about nuclear energy in the last few months.
Response to RADM Robert G. James (USNR Ret.)’s 2 August 2011 Wall Street Journal op-ed "Of Mustard Fuel and Marines"
Former Naval and CIA officer and oil-industry executive Robert James claims that military interest in advanced biofuels is a green fad and compromises combat effectiveness. Amory Lovins, who's helped to lead military energy reform for three decades, corrects Dr. James's misconceptions and misrepresentations in this comment posted on 3 August 2011 to his op-ed.
General Electric recently unveiled its FlexEfficiency technology, which delivers both flexibility and efficiency to power plants. The technology responds to and mitigates the variability of wind and solar power by rapidly ramping up and down a jet engine that burns natural gas. The GE turbine can vary its output twice as fast as any other gas plant. RMI’s electricity practice welcomed the news as one of a number of ways forward for adding renewables to the electric grid.