Amory Lovins

Amory Bloch Lovins (born November 13, 1947)[3] is an American writer, physicist,[4] and Chairman/Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute. He has written on energy policy and related areas for four decades. He was named by Time magazine one of the World's 100 most influential people in 2009.

Lovins has promoted energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy sources, and the generation of energy at or near the site where the energy is actually used. Lovins has also advocated a "negawatt revolution" arguing that utility customers don't want kilowatt-hours of electricity; they want energy services. In the 1990s, his work with Rocky Mountain Institute included the design of an ultra-efficient automobile, the Hypercar.

Lovins does not see his energy ideas as green or left-wing, and he is an advocate of private enterprise and free market economics. He notes that Rupert Murdoch has made News Corporation carbon-neutral, with savings of millions of dollars. But, says Lovins, large institutions are becoming more "gridlocked and moribund", and he supports the rise of "citizen organizations" around the world.

Lovins has received ten honorary doctorates and won many awards. He has provided expert testimony in eight countries, briefed 19 heads of state, and published 31 books. These books include Reinventing Fire, Winning the Oil Endgame, Small is Profitable, Brittle Power, and Natural Capitalism.

Amory Lovins
Amory Lovins, 2011 (cropped)
Amory Lovins in 2011.
Amory Bloch Lovins

November 13, 1947 (age 71)[1][2]
Occupationwriter, advocate, scientist
Known forAdvocacy of efficient energy use and soft energy paths
AwardsWorld Technology Award, Right Livelihood Award, Blue Planet Prize, Heinz Award, Environment Prize, Bundesverdienstkreuz

Early life

Born in Washington, DC, Lovins spent much of his youth in Silver Spring, Maryland, in Amherst, Massachusetts, and in Montclair, New Jersey. In 1964, Lovins entered Harvard College. After two years there, he transferred in 1967 to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied physics and other subjects. In 1969 he became a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College, Oxford, where he had a temporary Oxford master of arts status as a result of becoming a university don. He did not graduate, because the University would not allow him to pursue a doctorate in energy, as it was two years before the 1973 oil embargo and energy was not yet considered an academic subject.[5] Lovins resigned his Fellowship and moved to London to pursue his energy work. He moved back to the U.S. in 1981 and settled in western Colorado in 1982.[6]


Friends of the Earth

Each summer from about 1965 to 1981, Lovins guided mountaineering trips and photographed the White Mountains of New Hampshire, contributing photographs to At Home in the Wild: New England's White Mountains. In 1971 he wrote about the endangered Snowdonia National Park in the book, Eryri, the Mountains of Longing, commissioned by David Brower, president of Friends of the Earth.[7] Lovins spent about a decade as British Representative for Friends of the Earth.

During the early seventies, Lovins became interested in the area of resource policy, especially energy policy. The 1973 energy crisis helped create an audience for his writing and an essay originally penned as a U.N. paper grew into his first book concerned with energy, World Energy Strategies (1973). His next book was Non-Nuclear Futures: The Case for an Ethical Energy Strategy (1975), co-authored with John H. Price. Lovins published a 10,000-word essay "Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?" in Foreign Affairs, in October 1976. Its contents were the subject of many seminars at government departments, universities, energy agencies, and nuclear energy research centers, during 1975–1977.[8] The article was expanded and republished as Soft Energy Paths: Toward a Durable Peace in 1977.

Rocky Mountain Institute

By 1978 Lovins had published six books, consulted widely, and was active in energy affairs in some 15 countries. In 1982, he and Hunter Lovins founded Rocky Mountain Institute, based in Snowmass, Colorado. Together with a group of colleagues, the Lovinses fostered efficient resource use and sustainable development.[7]

Lovins has briefed 19 heads of state, provided expert testimony in eight countries, and published 29 books and several hundred papers.[6] His clients have included many Fortune 500 companies, major real-estate developers, and utilities.[6] Public-sector clients have included the OECD, UN, Resources for the Future, many national governments, and 13 US states.[6] Lovins served in 1980–81 on the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Research Advisory Board, and in 1999–2001 and 2006–08 on Defense Science Board task forces on military energy efficiency and strategy. His visiting academic chairs most recently included a visiting professorship in Stanford University's School of Engineering.[9]

Since 1982, RMI has grown into a broad-based "think-and-do tank" with more than 85 staff and an annual budget of some $13 million.[6] RMI has spun off five for-profit companies.[10]


Soft energy paths

Solar heater dsc00632
Solar energy technologies, such as solar water heaters, located on or near the buildings which they supply with energy, are a prime example of a soft energy technology.

Amory Lovins came to prominence in 1976 when he published an article in Foreign Affairs called "Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?" Lovins argued that the United States had arrived at an important crossroads and could take one of two paths.[11] The first, supported by U.S. policy, promised a future of steadily increasing reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear fission, and had serious environmental risks. The alternative, which Lovins called "the soft path," favored "benign" sources of renewable energy like wind power and solar power, along with a heightened commitment to energy conservation and energy efficiency. In October 1977, The Atlantic ran a cover story on Lovins' ideas.[11]

Amory Lovins advocates "soft energy paths" involving efficient energy use, diverse and renewable energy sources, and special reliance on "soft energy technologies". Soft energy technologies are those based on solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal, etc. which are matched in scale and quality to their task. Residential solar energy technologies are prime examples of soft energy technologies and rapid deployment of simple, energy conserving, residential solar energy technologies is fundamental to a soft energy strategy.[12]

Lovins has described the "hard energy path" as involving inefficient energy use and centralized, non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels. He believes soft path impacts are more "gentle, pleasant and manageable" than hard path impacts. These impacts range from the individual and household level to those affecting the very fabric of society at the national and international level.[12]

Lovins on the Soft Path is an award-winning documentary film made by Amory and Hunter Lovins. It received many prizes: "Best Science and Technology Film, San Francisco International Film Festival, 1983; Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival, 1982; Best of the Festival, Environmental Education Film Festival, 1982; Best Energy Film, International Environmental Film Festival, 1982; and Chris Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film Festival, 1982."[13]

Nuclear power limitations

Lovins wrote that nuclear power plants are intermittent in that they will sometimes fail unexpectedly, often for long periods of time.[14] For example, in the United States, 132 nuclear plants were built, and 21% were permanently and prematurely closed due to reliability or cost problems, while another 27% have at least once completely failed for a year or more. The remaining U.S. nuclear plants produce approximately 90% of their full-time full-load potential, but even they must shut down (on average) for about 1 out of each 18 months for scheduled refueling and maintenance.[14] To cope with such intermittence by nuclear (and centralized fossil-fuelled) power plants, utilities install a "reserve margin" of roughly 15% extra capacity spinning ready for instant use.[14]

Lovins also argues that nuclear plants have an additional disadvantage: for safety, they must instantly shut down in a power failure, but due to the inherent nuclear-physics of the systems, they can't be restarted quickly. For example, during the Northeast Blackout of 2003, nine operating U.S. nuclear units had to shut down temporarily. During the first three days after restarting, their output was less than 3% of normal. After twelve days of restart, their average capacity loss had exceeded 50 percent.[14]

Lovins provided his general assessment of nuclear power in a 2011 Huffington Post Article, saying that "Nuclear power is the only energy source where mishap or malice can kill so many people so far away; the only one whose ingredients can help make and hide nuclear bombs; the only climate solution that substitutes proliferation, accident, and high-level radioactive waste dangers. Indeed, nuclear plants are so slow and costly to build that they reduce and retard climate protection". With respect to the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents, Lovins wrote: "An earthquake-and-tsunami zone crowded with 127 million people is an unwise place for 54 reactors".[15]

In terms of the UK, Amory Lovins commented in 2014 that:

Britain's plan for a fleet of new nuclear power stations is … unbelievable … It is economically daft. The guaranteed price [being offered to French state company EDF] is over seven times the unsubsidised price of new wind in the US, four or five times the unsubsidised price of new solar power in the US. Nuclear prices only go up. Renewable energy prices come down. There is absolutely no business case for nuclear. The British policy has nothing to do with economic or any other rational base for decision making.[16]

Negawatt revolution

Energiesparlampe 01 retouched
A "negawatt revolution" would involve the rapid deployment of electricity-saving technologies, such as compact fluorescent lamps.

A negawatt is a unit in watts of energy saved. It is basically the opposite of a watt. Amory Lovins has advocated a "negawatt revolution", arguing that utility customers don't want kilowatt-hours of electricity; they want energy services such as hot showers, cold beer, lit rooms, and spinning shafts, which can come more cheaply if electricity is used more efficiently.[17]

According to Lovins, energy efficiency represents a profitable global market and American companies have at their disposal the technical innovations to lead the way. Not only should they "upgrade their plants and office buildings, but they should encourage the formation of negawatt markets".[18] Lovins sees negawatt markets as a win-win solution to many environmental problems. Because it is "now generally cheaper to save fuel than to burn it, global warming, acid rain, and urban smog can be reduced not at a cost but at a profit".[18]

Lovins explains that many companies are already enjoying the financial and other rewards that come from saving electricity. Yet progress in converting to electricity saving technologies has been slowed by the indifference or outright opposition of some utilities.[17] A second obstacle to efficiency is that many electricity-using devices are purchased by people who won't be paying their running costs and thus have little incentive to consider efficiency. Lovins also believes that many customers "don't know what the best efficiency buys are, where to get them, or how to shop for them".[17]


In 1994, Amory Lovins developed the design concept of the Hypercar. This vehicle would have ultra-light construction with an aerodynamic body using advanced composite materials, low-drag design, and hybrid drive.[19] Designers of the Hypercar claim that it would achieve a three- to fivefold improvement in fuel economy, equal or better performance, safety, amenity, and affordability, compared with today's cars.[20]

In 1999, RMI took this process a step further by launching a for-profit venture, Hypercar Inc. This independent company, in which RMI has a minority interest, is now taking the lead in advancing key areas of Hypercar research and development.[21] In 2004, Hypercar Inc. changed its name to Fiberforge to better reflect the company's new goal of lowering the cost of high-volume advanced-composite structures by leveraging the patents of David F. Taggart, one of the founders of Hypercar, Inc.[21]

Lovins says the commercialisation of the Hypercar began in 2014, with the production of the all-carbon electric BMW i3 family and the 313 miles per gallon Volkswagen XL1.[16]

Citizen participation

Lovins does not see his energy ideas as green or left-wing, and he is an advocate of private enterprise and free market economics. He notes that Rupert Murdoch has made News Corporation carbon-neutral, with savings of millions of dollars. But, says Lovins, large institutions are becoming more "gridlocked and moribund", and he supports the rise of "citizen organizations" around the world.

Paul Hawken's Blessed Unrest chronicles the rise of millions of non-profit citizen organizations around the world — the greatest social movement in history. As central institutions become more gridlocked and moribund, a new vitality is beginning to spread renewal through the stem to the flower.[22]


Institutions and energy specialists have criticized various positions taken by Amory Lovins. One of the main points of contention is the assumption by the RMI of a linear relation between improvements in energy efficiency and reductions in aggregate energy consumption. The Jevons Paradox [23] suggests that improvements in energy efficiency actually lead to an increase in energy use, as a result of decreasing cost. This "rebound effect" is downplayed in the analyses performed by Lovins.[24] Other assumptions made by Lovins have also received criticism. For example, in Lovins' book, Reinventing Fire, it is assumed that 50% of all electricity in the US could come from wind in 2050. Other authors find that this is capped probably around 30%.[25] Similar overestimates are identified in PV (solar), where estimates are made for about 30%; this is seen as implausible. Moreover, according to the authors, no analyses are given about the need for huge volumes of electricity storage, which would be needed when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow.


Amory Lovins has received ten honorary doctorates and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1984, of the World Academy of Art and Science in 1988, and of the World Business Academy in 2001. He has received the Right Livelihood Award, the Blue Planet Prize, Volvo Environment Prize, the 4th Annual Heinz Award in the Environment in 1998,[26] and the National Design (Design Mind), Jean Meyer, and Lindbergh Awards.[3][6]

Lovins is also the recipient of the Time Hero for the Planet awards, the Benjamin Franklin and Happold Medals, and the Shingo, Nissan, Mitchell, and Onassis Prizes. He has also received a MacArthur Fellowship and is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council.[3][6] Furthermore, he is on the Advisory Board of the Holcim Foundation.[27]

In 2009, Time magazine named Lovins as one of the world's 100 most influential people.[6][28]

On 17 March 2016, Lovins received the Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse (Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit) from the Federal Republic of Germany for intellectually underpinning Germany's Energiewende, most notably with his concept of "soft energy" and how that promotes peace and prosperity.[29]

Personal life

In 1979 Amory Lovins married L. Hunter Sheldon, a lawyer, forester, and social scientist. Hunter received her undergraduate degree in sociology and political studies from Pitzer College, and her J.D. from Loyola University's School of Law. They separated in 1989 and divorced in 1999.[30] In 2007, he married Judy Hill Lovins, a fine-art landscape photographer.

Lovins is the brother of Julie Beth Lovins, a computational linguist who wrote the first stemming algorithm for word matching.[31]


This is a list of books which are authored or co-authored by Amory B. Lovins, or which include a foreword by him:[3]

  • Eryri, the Mountains of Longing San Francisco, Friends of the Earth, 1972. (with Philip Evans) ISBN 978-0-8415-0129-4. 181 p.
  • Openpit Mining London : Earth Island, 1973. ISBN 978-0-85644-020-5. 118 p.
  • World Energy Strategies: Facts, Issues, and Options London : Friends of the Earth Ltd. for Earth Resources Research Ltd., 1975. 131 p. ISBN 978-0-88410-601-2.
  • Nuclear power: Technical Bases for Ethical Concern (1975, 2nd edition). 39 p. ISBN 978-0-9503273-6-5
  • Soft Energy Paths: Towards a Durable Peace San Francisco : Friends of the Earth International, 1977 231p. ISBN 0-06-090653-7
  • The Energy Controversy: Soft Path Questions and Answers (1979) ISBN 978-0-913890-22-6
  • Is Nuclear Power Necessary?: Energy Papers No. 3 : Friends of the Earth, London, May 1979, ISBN 0905966198
  • Non-Nuclear Futures: The Case for an Ethical Energy Strategy (with John H. Price) San Francisco, 1980. 223p. ISBN 978-0-06-090777-8
  • A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture & Technology (1980) ASIN: B000MWEXMC
  • Energy/War, Breaking the Nuclear Link San Francisco : Friends of the Earth, 1981 161p. ISBN 978-0-913890-44-8
  • Least-Cost Energy: Solving the CO2 Problem Andover, Mass. : Brick House Pub. Co., 1982 184p. ISBN 978-0-931790-36-2
  • Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security (with L Hunter Lovins) Andover, Mass. : Brick House, 1982 re-released in 2001. 486p. ISBN 0-931790-28-X
  • The First Nuclear World War (with Patrick O'Heffernan; L Hunter Lovins) New York : Morrow, 1983. 444 p ISBN 978-0-09-155830-7
  • Energy Unbound: A Fable for America's Future (with L Hunter Lovins; Seth Zuckerman) San Francisco : Sierra Club Books, 1986. 390 p ISBN 0-87156-820-9
  • Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings (1991) ISBN 978-0-918249-09-8
  • Reinventing Electric Utilities: Competition, Citizen Action, and Clean Power (1996) ISBN 978-1-55963-455-7
  • Factor Four: Doubling Wealth – Halving Resource Use: A Report to the Club of Rome (1997) ISBN 978-1-85383-407-3
  • Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (2000) ISBN 1-85383-763-6
  • Small is Profitable: The Hidden Economic Benefits of Making Electrical Resources the Right Size (2003) ISBN 1-881071-07-3
  • The Natural Advantage Of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation And Governance in the 21st Century (2004) ISBN 1-84407-121-9
  • Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profit, Jobs and Security (2005) ISBN 1-84407-194-4 (Available Online in PDF)
  • Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run: A Call to Save the Earth (2007) ISBN 978-1-57805-138-0
  • The Essential Amory Lovins (2011) ISBN 978-1-84971-226-2
  • Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era (2011) ISBN 978-1-60358-371-8


  • Faktor vier. Doppelter Wohlstand – halbierter Verbrauch (1997) ISBN 978-3-426-77286-7
  • Facteur 4 : deux fois plus de bien-être en consommant deux fois moins de ressources: Rapport au Club de Rome (1997) ISBN 978-2-904082-67-2
  • Öko-Kapitalismus: Die industrielle Revolution des 21. Jahrhunderts (2002) ISBN 978-1-4000-3941-8

See also


  1. ^ "Amory Lovins: Energy Analyst and Environmentalist". MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Amory Lovins". Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d The International Who's Who 2011, 74th edition, Routledge, 2010, p. 1259.
  4. ^ "Negawatt hour", (March 1, 2014). "The Economist". Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  5. ^ Amory Lovins (Sep–Oct 2011). "Wonder in the Bewilderness". Harvard Magazine.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Lovins Bio Archived 2010-12-22 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b Profile of the 2007 Blue Planet Prize Recipient Archived October 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Amory Lovins (1977). Soft Energy Paths, p. 220.
  9. ^ Stanford Energy Lectures Archived 2012-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Most recently,, and
  11. ^ a b Green, Joshua (July–August 2009). "The Elusive Green Economy". The Atlantic.
  12. ^ a b Amory Lovins (1977). Soft Energy Paths: Towards a Durable Peace ISBN 0-06-090653-7
  13. ^ Lovins on the Soft Path: A Guide to the Film, RMI, 1985.
  14. ^ a b c d Lovins, Amory; Imran Sheikh; Alex Markevich (2009). "Nuclear Power:Climate Fix or Folly". Rocky Mountain Institute. p. 10. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 20 Oct 2012. All sources of electricity sometimes fail, differing only in how predictably, why, how often, how much, and for how long. Even the most reliable giant power plants are intermittent: they fail un-expectedly in billion-watt chunks, often for long periods.
  15. ^ Amory Lovins (March 18, 2011). "With Nuclear Power, "No Acts of God Can Be Permitted"". Huffington Post.
  16. ^ a b John Vidal (18 February 2014). "Amory Lovins: energy visionary sees renewables revolution in full swing". The Guardian.
  17. ^ a b c Amory B. Lovins. The Negawatt Revolution Archived February 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Across the Board, Vol. XXVII No. 9, September 1990, pp. 21–22.
  18. ^ a b Amory B. Lovins. The Negawatt Revolution Archived February 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Across the Board, Vol. XXVII No. 9, September 1990, p. 23.
  19. ^ Hypercars, hydrogen, and the automotive transition Archived 2013-07-04 at the Wayback Machine International Journal of Vehicle Design, Vol. 35, Nos. 1/2, 2004.
  20. ^ Diesendorf, Mark (2007). Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy, UNSW Press, pp. 191–192.
  21. ^ a b What is a Hypercar Vehicle? Archived 2002-11-29 at the Library of Congress Web Archives from
  22. ^ Amory Lovins, Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era (2011) p. 251 ISBN 978-1-60358-371-8
  23. ^ Jevons paradox
  24. ^
  25. ^ Lenzen, M., (2009), Current state of development of electricity-generating technologies – A literature review. Integrated Life Cycle Analysis, Dept. of Physics, University of Sydney.
  26. ^ The Heinz Awards, Amory Lovins profile
  27. ^ "Holcim Foundation Advisory Board". Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  28. ^ Carl Pope. The 2009 TIME 100: Amory Lovins TIME magazine, April 30, 2009.
  29. ^ Claus Hecking and Petra Pinzler (17 March 2016). "Die Politik sollte steuern, die Wirtschaft rudern" [The policy should steer and the economy should row]. Zeit Online. Retrieved 17 March 2016.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  30. ^ Iconoclast Gets Consultant Fees To Tell Big Oil It's Fading Fast
  31. ^ "Reinventing Energy in China". Asia Society. Retrieved 6 June 2017.

External links

Accounting reform

Accounting reform is an expansion of accounting rules that goes beyond the realm of financial measures for both individual economic entities and national economies. It is advocated by those who consider the focus of the present standards and practices wholly inadequate to the task of measuring and reporting the activity, success, and failure of modern enterprise, including government.

Real debate concerns concepts such as whether to report transactions, such as asset acquisitions, at their cost or at their current market values. The former, traditional approach, appeals for its reliability, but can quickly lose its relevance due to inflation and other factors; the latter, increasingly common approach, is appealing for its relevance, but is less reliable due to the need to use subjective measures. Accounting standards setters such as the International Accounting Standards Board attempt to strike a balance between relevance and reliability.

B4E Business for the Environment

The B4E Business for the Environment Summit (commonly abbreviated as B4E or B4E Summit) is an international platform for dialogue and partnership for the environment.

The acceleration and delivery of such transformative solutions will require a higher level of collaboration between business, government and NGOs than ever seen before. B4E aims to facilitate such collaboration through networking, informed discussion and the creation of innovative partnerships for change.

Issues addressed at the summits include energy, natural resource security, climate change, water management and biodiversity conservation, among others.

Past speakers at previous Summits include international luminaries like Ban Ki-moon, Al Gore, Helen Clark and Göran Persson, the current Presidents of South Korea, Indonesia and Guyana, business leaders such as Nam Yong, Ben Verwaayen, Jochen Zeitz, Sir Richard Branson, Barbara Kux and renowned experts like David Suzuki, Janine Benyus and Amory Lovins representing civil society. The Summits also involve international NGOs and agencies like WWF, Greenpeace, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the World Food Programme and UNDP in its inclusive dialogues.

Official outcome declarations from the Summit discussions reflect commitments from stakeholders on the need to embrace innovative solutions for environmental issues and are used to provide input to the UN Climate Change Conferences and Rio+.

Brittle Power

Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security is a 1982 book by Amory B. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins, prepared originally as a Pentagon study and re-released in 2001 following the September 11 attacks. The book argues that U.S. domestic energy infrastructure is very vulnerable to disruption, by accident or malice, often even more so than imported oil. According to the authors, a resilient energy system is feasible, costs less, works better, is favoured in the market, but is rejected by U.S. policy. In the preface to the 2001 edition, Lovins explains that these themes are still very current.

Energy security and renewable technology

The environmental benefits of renewable energy technologies are widely recognised, but the contribution that they can make to energy security is less well known. Renewable technologies can enhance energy security in electricity generation, heat supply, and transportation.


Fiberforge was a privately held company, started in 1998. The company uses a proprietary process for making thermoplastic advanced composites to make things more lightweight. Particular interest has been placed on decreasing weight of everyday means of transportation like cars and aircraft for better fuel efficiency and hence Environmental sustainability. Amory Lovins was its Chairman Emeritus.Fiberforge ceased operations in June 2013 due to financial problems and attempted to liquidate its assets for the benefit of creditors It was later acquired by Dieffenbacher.

Hunter Lovins

L. Hunter Lovins (née Sheldon, born 1950) is an author and a promoter of sustainable development for over 40 years, is president of Natural Capitalism Solutions, a 501(c)3 non-profit in Longmont, Colorado and the Chief Insurgent of the Madrone Project. She teaches sustainable business management at Bard College in New York. She was a founding professor at Presidio Graduate School's MBA in Sustainable Management program (2002-2010). She also has taught at various universities, consulted for many citizens’ groups, governments and corporations. She co-founded with her then-husband Amory Lovins the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) which she led for 20 years. She has addressed the World Economic Forum, the U.S. Congress, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and other major conferences. Named a "green business icon" by Newsweek, a millennium "Hero of the Planet" by Time Magazine, she has also received the Right Livelihood Award and the Leadership in Business Award, among other honors.

Hypercar (concept car)

The Hypercar is a design concept car developed by energy analyst Amory Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute. This vehicle would have ultra-light construction with an aerodynamic body using advanced composite materials, low-drag design, and hybrid drive. Designers of the Hypercar claim that it would achieve a three- to five-fold improvement in fuel economy, equal or better performance, safety, amenity, and, compared with today's cars.

Natural Capitalism

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution is a 1999 book co-authored by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins. It has been translated into a dozen languages and was the subject of a Harvard Business Review summary.

Negawatt power

A negawatt is a theoretical unit of power representing an amount of electrical power (measured in watts) saved. The energy saved is a direct result of energy conservation or increased energy efficiency. The term was coined by the chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute and environmentalist Amory Lovins in 1985, within the article, "Saving Gigabucks with Negawatts," where he argued that utility customers don’t want kilowatt-hours of electricity; they want energy services such as hot showers, cold beer, lit rooms, and spinning shafts, which can come more cheaply if electricity is used more efficiently. Lovins felt an international behavioral change was necessary in order to decrease countries' dependence on excessive amounts of energy. The concept of a negawatt could influence a behavioral change in consumers by encouraging them to think about the energy that they spend.

A negawatt market can be thought of as a secondary market, in which electricity is allocated from one consumer to another consumer within the energy market. In this market, negawatts could be treated as a commodity. Commodities have the ability to be traded across time and space, which would allow negawatts to be incorporated in the international trading system. Roughly 10% of all U.S. electrical generating capacity is in place to meet the last 1% of demand and there is where the immediate efficiency opportunity exists.On March 15, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency that regulates the U.S. electrical grid, approved a rule establishing the approach to compensation for demand response resources intended to benefit customers and help improve the operation and competitiveness of organized wholesale energy markets. This means that negawatts produced by reducing electrical use can demand the same market prices as real megawatts of generated electricity.The incentives for a negawatt market include receiving money, reduction of national energy dependency, and the local electricity deregulation within certain nations or states. As for the cost incentive, those who produce negawatts or simply conserve energy can earn money by selling the saved energy. The negawatt market could help nations or states obtain a deregulated electricity system by creating another market to purchase electricity from.

The negawatt market also has two main drawbacks. Currently, there is no way to precisely measure the amount of energy saved in negawatts, and electricity providers may not want customers to use less energy due to the loss of profit.

Non-Nuclear Futures

Non-Nuclear Futures: The Case for an Ethical Energy Strategy is a 1975 book by Amory B. Lovins and John H. Price. The main theme of the book is that the most important parts of the nuclear power debate are not technical disputes but relate to personal values, and are the legitimate province of every citizen, whether technically trained or not. Lovins and Price suggest that the personal values that make a high-energy society work are all too apparent, and that the values associated with an alternate view relate to thrift, simplicity, diversity, neighbourliness, craftsmanship, and humility. They also argue that large nuclear generators could not be mass-produced. Their centralization requires costly transmission and distribution systems. They are inefficient, not recycling excess thermal energy. The authors believed that nuclear reactors were less reliable (a grossly incorrect prediction) and take longer to build, exposing them to escalated interest costs, mistimed demand forecasts, and wage pressure by unions.

Lovins and Price suggest that these two different sets of personal values and technological attributes lead to two very different policy paths relating to future energy supplies. The first is high-energy nuclear, centralized, electric; the second is lower energy, non-nuclear, decentralized, less electrified, softer technology.Subsequent publications by other authors which relate to the issue of non-nuclear energy paths are Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy, Plan B 2.0, Reaction Time, State of the World 2008, The Clean Tech Revolution, and the work of Benjamin K. Sovacool.

Paul Hawken

Paul Gerard Hawken (born February 8, 1946) is an American environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, and activist.

Reinventing Fire

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era is a 2011 book, by Amory B. Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute, that explores converting the United States to almost total reliance on renewable energy sources, such as solar energy and wind power. Lovins says that renewable energy is already cheaper than fossil fuels and his analysis predicts further reductions in renewable energy prices.Reinventing Fire was launched at the Washington National Geographic Society, in October 2011. Bill Clinton says the book is a “wise, detailed and comprehensive blueprint.” The book has forewords by Marvin Odum, from Shell Oil, and John W. Rowe, CEO of Exelon. The first paragraph of the preface says:

Imagine fuel without fear. No climate change. No oil spills, dead coal miners, dirty air, devastated lands, lost wildlife. No energy poverty. No oil-fed wars, tyrannies, or terrorists. Nothing to run out. Nothing to cut off. Nothing to worry about. Just energy abundance, benign and affordable, for all, for ever.

Fen Montaigne in The Guardian has said that the book is impressive in both its scope and detail:

Lovins discusses everything from how to redesign heavy trucks to make them more fuel efficient to ways to change factory pipes to conserve energy — the book lays out a plan for the U.S. to achieve the following by 2050: cars completely powered by hydrogen fuel cells, electricity, and biofuels; 84 percent of trucks and airplanes running on biomass fuels; 80 percent of the nation's electricity produced by renewable power; $5 trillion in savings; and an economy that has grown by 158 percent.

By combining reduced energy use with energy efficiency gains, Lovins says that there will be a $5 trillion saving over the next 40 years and a faster-growing economy. This can all be done, the book jacket says, without "new federal taxes, subsidies, mandates, or laws. The policy innovations needed to unlock and speed it need no act of Congress." The profitable commercialization of existing energy-saving technologies, through market forces, can be led by business.

Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an organization in the United States dedicated to research, publication, consulting, and lecturing in the general field of sustainability, with a special focus on profitable innovations for energy and resource efficiency. RMI was established in 1982 and has grown into a broad-based institution with 150+ staff and an annual budget of some $30 million. RMI's work is independent and non-adversarial, with a strong emphasis on market-based solutions. The institute, including recently merged Carbon War Room, operates on 9 initiative areas: Electricity Platform, Renewables Solutions, Buildings, Reinventing Fire: China, Smart Island Economies, Mobility Transformation, Shipping Efficiency, Sunshine for Mines, Sustainable Aviation, and Trucking Efficiency. The work of RMI has benefited more than 80 Fortune 500 companies in a diverse range of sectors. RMI is headquartered in Basalt, Colorado, and also maintains offices in Boulder, Colorado, New York City, Washington D.C. and Beijing, China.

Small Is Profitable

Small Is Profitable: The Hidden Economic Benefits of Making Electrical Resources the Right Size is a 2002 book by energy analyst Amory Lovins and others. The book describes 207 ways in which the size of "electrical resources"—devices that make, save, or store electricity—affects their economic value. It finds that properly accounting for the economic benefits of "distributed" (decentralized) electrical resources typically raises their value by a large factor, perhaps tenfold, through improved system planning, utility construction and operation (especially off the grid), and service quality, and by avoiding social costs. This should change how distributed resources are marketed and used, and make policy and business opportunities explicit.Small Is Profitable was named 'Book of the Year' by The Economist magazine.

Soft energy path

In 1976 energy policy analyst Amory Lovins coined the term soft energy path to describe an alternative future where energy efficiency and appropriate renewable energy sources steadily replace a centralized energy system based on fossil and nuclear fuels.

Soft water path

The concept of the soft path was first used for energy resource management and was developed by Amory Lovins shortly after the shock of the 1973 energy crisis in the United States. This concept has now been refined and applied to water, most notably by water expert Peter Gleick and David Brooks. The soft path is often framed as a more integrated and effective alternative to supply-side water resource management. Supply-side water management focuses on meeting demands for water through centralized, large-scale physical infrastructure, and centralized water management systems. In the 20th century, this approach focused on constructing bigger dams and drilling deeper wells to access more water to meet projected demands of consumers. More recently, a focus on demand-side management has emerged in regions where water supply is increasingly constrained (see, for example, Peak water), and it focuses on managing demand and making current practices more efficient. The soft path integrates both supply and demand concepts but in a broader context by recognizing that water is a means to satisfy demands for goods and services and asking how much water, of what qualities, is actually required to satisfy those demands efficiently and sustainably. Soft path water planning also requires broader institutional approaches to water management including the application of smart economics, the potential for distributed rather than centralized water systems, and more democratic participation in water policy decisions. Others have described the soft path as "unleashing the full potential of demand-side management.",

The Natural Edge Project

The Natural Edge Project (TNEP) is an independent think-tank for sustainability based in Australia. TNEP contributes to leading research, case studies, tools, policies and strategies for achieving sustainable development across government and business. The non-profit TNEP receives mentoring and support from selected experts and leading organisations in Australia and internationally. TNEP delivers short courses, workshops, and conference presentations to build industry experience and relationships. It has published the books Natural Capitalism by Amory Lovins (1999), described as "groundbreaking" by Habitat Australia, and The Natural Advantage of Nations edited by Karlson Hargroves and Michael H Smith (2005). The patron of TNEP is Sir Ninian Stephen, former Governor General of Australia.The Natural Edge Project was the winner of the 2005 Banksia Award for Environmental Leadership Education and Training. The Banksia Awards aims to recognise individuals and organisations for environmental excellence and innovation.

Winning the Oil Endgame

Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profits, Jobs and Security is a 2005 book by Amory B. Lovins, E. Kyle Datta, Odd-Even Bustnes, Jonathan G. Koomey, and Nathan J. Glasgow, published by the Rocky Mountain Institute. It presents an independent, transdisciplinary analysis of four ways to reduce petroleum dependence in the United States:

Using oil more efficiently, through smarter technologies that wring more (and often better) services from less oil (pp. 29–102).

Substituting for petroleum fuels other liquids made from biomass or wastes (pp. 103–111).

Substituting saved natural gas for oil in uses where they’re interchangeable, such as furnaces and boilers (pp. 111–122).

Replacing oil with hydrogen made from non-oil resources (pp. 228–242).

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