Amory B. Lovins
Cofounder, Chief Scientist and Chairman Emeritus
Last year, on RMI’s 30th birthday, we challenged ourselves—and the world—to scale up implementation of solutions for a new energy era. I’m happy to say we’re succeeding in doing just that. RMI’s 31st year has been pivotal. Even as a U.S. shale-gas and shale-oil boom raises vigorous debates about fossil fuels’ place in our energy system, efficiency and renewables are progressing even faster and often at lower costs, so they’re starting to turn the tide toward the clean, prosperous, and secure future we roadmapped in the 2011 book Reinventing Fire.
In 2012, modern renewables such as wind and solar received more investment globally—over a quarter trillion dollars’ worth—than fossil-fueled and nuclear power plants combined, and in China, they added more kilowatt-hours. Three of the world’s four biggest economies—China, Japan, and Germany— as well as India generated more electricity from non-hydro renewables than from nuclear power. Only in America did many leaders still stand arguing on the platform after the renewable-energy train had left the station. But happily, from Texas to California and New Jersey to Iowa, offsetting leadership flourished at the state and local level.
Every week, it seems, we read yet another report of record installations for wind and solar, efficiency unlocking substantial energy and economic savings, and renewables supplying increasing portions of reliable electricity. In other words, efficiency and renewables are scaling for exponential impact. That’s equally evident in RMI’s programs and solutions, some decades in the making, now coming to fruition in the marketplace—and not just in iconic singular projects, but increasingly at large scale via widespread adoption.
But while we’re seeing positive signs of progress, we mustn’t relax our dogged determination to see the long energy transition through. Fossil fuels still supply over three-fourths of the world’s energy; efficiency and renewables must make ever-greater progress against their old, dirty, insecure, but still powerful rivals. Our economy, our climate, our health and environment, and our security are at stake.
Scaling RMI’s impact is vital if we are to achieve our Reinventing Fire vision: a U.S. free of oil, coal, and nuclear energy by 2050. Efficiency and renewables, intelligently deployed and rapidly adopted via the right collaborators and solutions, can get us there. We can succeed in realizing a world thriving, verdant, and secure, for all, for ever. Thank you for joining and speeding us on the journey.
Amory B. Lovins
Old Snowmass, Colorado