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Amory Lovins

Chairman Emeritus
Chief Scientist
Co-founder
RMI Trustee
  • Executive Leadership
  • Office of the Chief Scientist

Physicist Amory Lovins (1947), FRSA, is cofounder and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute (www.rmi.org); energy advisor to major firms and governments in 65+ countries for 40+ years; author of 31 books and more than 600 papers; and an integrative designer of superefficient buildings, factories, and vehicles.

He has received the Blue Planet, Volvo, Zayed, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, the MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, the Happold, Benjamin Franklin, and Spencer Hutchens Medals, 12 honorary doctorates, and the Heinz, Lindbergh, Right Livelihood (“alternative Nobel”), National Design, and World Technology Awards. In 2016, the President of Germany awarded him the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse).

A Harvard and Oxford dropout, former Oxford don, honorary US architect, and Swedish engineering academician, he has taught at ten universities, most recently Stanford’s Engineering School and the Naval Postgraduate School (but only on topics he’s never studied, so as to retain beginner’s mind). He served in 2011–18 on the National Petroleum Council. Time has named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers. His latest books include Natural Capitalism (1999, www.natcap.org), Small Is Profitable (2002, www.smallisprofitable.org), Winning the Oil Endgame (2004, www.oilendgame.com), The Essential Amory Lovins (2011), and Reinventing Fire (2011, www.reinventingfire.com).

His main recent efforts include supporting RMI’s collaborative synthesis, for China’s National Development and Reform Commission, of an ambitious efficiency-and-renewables trajectory that informed the 13th Five Year Plan; helping the Government of India design transformational mobility; and exploring how to make integrative design the new normal, so investments to energy efficiency can yield expanding rather than diminishing returns.

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Basalt, CO

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@AmoryLovins

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Authored Works
Outlet Blog Post

Shifting the Auto Industry into Reverse

America’s auto industry was doing great. In 2016, its sales rose for the seventh year running to record highs. In 2017, sales slipped 1.2 percent but remained among the top five in history, dominated by more-profitable pickups and SUVs. But now a salvo of assaults from the White House “so…

Outlet Blog Post

Fourteen Alleged Magical Properties That Coal and Nuclear Plants Don’t Have and Shouldn’t Be Paid Extra for Providing

As the U.S. electricity sector awaits the release of a Department of Energy study assessing the impact of current market design on baseload generation and grid reliability, Rocky Mountain Institute’s Cofounder and Chief Scientist, Amory B. Lovins, has outlined and debunked in a soon-to-be-published Electricity Journal article 14 claimed…

Outlet Blog Post

Does “Fuel On Hand” Make Coal and Nuclear Power Plants More Valuable?

On April 14, Energy Secretary Rick Perry sent a memo ordering a 60-day depart­mental study of whether federal policies favoring an unnamed competitor—evi­dent­ly renewable electricity like solar and windpower—are constraining supposedly vital “base­load” plants (impliedly coal and nuclear), to the assumed detriment of grid reliabil­ity and resilience. Existing studies by grid …

Outlet Blog Post

The Grid Needs a Symphony, Not a Shouting Match

For more detail on the topics covered in this article, readers should see Amory Lovins’ FERC comments, a recent article on Forbes, and a forthcoming article in The Electricity Journal. In April, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced a 60-day study on electricity market design…

Outlet Blog Post

Misrepresenting the German Energy Situation

Mr. Stephens misrepresents the German energy situation in three ways. First, he compares 2016’s record renewable electricity production with the whole economy’s carbon dioxide emissions. In 2015–16, those rose 0.9 percent—one-third due to leap day and a cold winter—as transport fuels and the gas that heats half the buildings got efficient…

Outlet Blog Post

With Weaker Fuel Economy Standards, Everyone Loses, Including U.S. Automakers

On Wednesday [March 15, 2017] in Detroit, beneath a vast American flag, President Trump answered 17 automakers’ call to reopen the Mid-Term Review of the 2022–25 “CAFE” automotive efficiency standards. On his fourth day in office, he’d expedited approvals for two oil pipelines, skipping further assessments…

insight

Reinventing Fire

Built on 30 years of research and work in the field, Reinventing Fire maps pathways for running a 158%-bigger U.S. economy in 2050 needing no oil, no coal, and no nuclear energy.

Outlet Blog Post

Closing Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Will Save Money And Carbon

A widespread claim—that dozens of nuclear plants, too costly to run profitably, now merit new subsidies to protect the earth’s climate—just collided with market reality. The CEO of one of America’s most prominent and technically capable utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric Company—previously chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute and the…

insight

Energy in the Year of the Monkey (Chinese version)

China’s prestigious Energy Review asked Amory Lovins to introduce its first issue after the Chinese calendar began the Year of the Monkey.  China’s latest efficiency and renewable opportunities, as assessed by Reinventing Fire: China, blended with a call to face our energy challenges with monkeys’ cleverness, agility, and confidence. This…