O Brave New World

Amory-Lovins-Reinventing-Fire-browserThis is an eye-catching graphic, wouldn’t you say?  It’s for a talk that Amory Lovins gave at Yale exactly two years ago.  (See also the companion interview from the superb online journal Yale Environment 360.)

I use Reinventing Fire from Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute as a textbook for my graduate and continuing ed classes on clean tech.  There is no more comprehensive, current, lucid and progressive look at clean tech available of which I’m aware.  (I used to use Al Gore’s Our Choice for my climate change and clean tech classes.  It is still an excellent resource.)  I’m teaching a clean tech class at the moment and I flagged a recent article from Lovins to the students:  “Don’t cry for the electric utilities.”  It appeared in another superb online journal from GreenBiz.com.  (The good folks at GreenBiz were kind enough to excerpt my book there back a year ago.)

I have been writing now for a number of years about the stunning speed with which renewables and energy efficiency have been getting traction globally.  Growth in these have been consistently blowing nuclear power and fossil fuels out of the water.  Lovins was the closing keynoter at a conference in New York in 2009.  He said then: “The Renewable Revolution has been won. Sorry, if you missed it.”  Hyperbole?

Well, according to the new article from Lovins, “Renewables were 69 percent of new capacity added in 2012 in Europe and 49 percent in the United States.”  Energy efficiency is playing an enormous role as well:  “U.S. weather-adjusted electricity use per dollar of GDP fell 3.4 percent in 2012 alone.”

In a conversation with GreenBiz jefe, Joel Makower, and the venerable environmental journalist, Andy Revkin, at the Verge conference in San Francisco this past fall, Lovins underscored the winning hand that renewables and energy efficiency are playing.  This half hour video is well worth your watching.  So is picking up a copy of Reinventing Fire or, at the very least, going to the RMI website.


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