Donate Menu

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.

LOCATION

Basalt, CO

TWITTER HANDLE

@AmoryLovins

DOWNLOADABLE BIOS

General Audience

Energy/Security Audience

Automotive/Transportation Audience

Architecture Audience

Chinese Language

Authored Works
insight

Response to J.P.’s column “New numbers, same conclusion”

Dr. Charles R. Frank, Jr.’s May 2014 Brookings Institution Working Paper claimed that new nuclear and gas-fired power plants can displace coal plants’ carbon emissions far more cost-effectively than solar and windpower can. This claim was featured and endorsed in late July by a full-page Free exchange” article in The…

insight

Urgent Memo to Biotech Pioneers: Life is More Than a DNA Sequence

Adapted and updated from the noted 1999 essay “A Tale of Two Botanies.” (http://www.rmi.org/biotechnology/twobotanies.html) Amory Lovins’s Huffington Post invited commentary on some remarks by Dr. Craig Venter and summarizes the limitations and risks of genomics, transgenics, and artificial life.

insight

Micropower Database 2014 (July)

2014 (July) Edition: The purpose of the micropower database is to present a clear, rigorous, and independent assessment of the global capacity and electrical output of micropower (all renewables, except large hydro and cogeneration), showing its development over time and documenting all data and assumptions. With minor exceptions, this information…

insight

An initial critique of Dr. Charles R. Frank, Jr.’s working paper “The Net Benefits of Low and No-Carbon Electricity Technologies,” summarized in The Economist as “Free exchange: Sun, wind and drain”

A May 2014 working paper by nonresident Brookings Institute fellow Dr. Charles Frank, highlighted in The Economist, claims that wind and solar power are the least, while nuclear power and combined-cycle gas generation are the most, cost-effective ways to displace coal-fired power. (He didn’t assess efficiency.) This detailed twelve-page critique…

insight

The Economics of a U.S. Civilian Nuclear Phase-out

In the United States, which trades three-fifths of its electricity in competitive markets, the prohibitive capital cost of new nuclear power plants ensures that only a handful will be built. Nonetheless, with 40-year licenses being extended to 60 years, the 104 existing reactors’ relatively low generating costs are widely expected…

insight

The Atlantic Mann Rebuttal

This article, published in RMISolutions, describes the efforts by RMI and Amory Lovins to work with the American military to combat energy waste. The potential energy savings available to the military are detailed. The article includes a section called, “All Energy Experts on Deck,” in which Lovins compares the design…

insight

El Capitalismo Natural

This is a Spanish language version of a brief summary of the principles of natural capitalism with case studies illustrating how natural capitalism can be implemented in business environments to save energy and money. The principles discussed are biomimicry, reinvestment in natural capital, radical resource productivity, and service and flow…

insight

Battling Fuel Waste in the Military

This article, published in RMISolutions, describes the efforts by RMI and Amory Lovins to work with the American military to combat energy waste. The potential energy savings available to the military are detailed. The article includes a section called, “All Energy Experts on Deck,” in which Lovins compares the design…

insight

Advanced Ultralight Hybrids: Necessity and Practicality of a Leapfrog

This presentation by Amory Lovins illustrates the deep potential and transformative implications of a Hypercar automotive revolution. The presentation addresses issues of affordability, safety, and design of an advanced ultralight hybrid. Lovins argues that designing an elegantly frugal car requires a leapfrog approach with a newly designed platform and strategy.

insight

Reforming the Automobile Fuel Economy Standards Program: Letter to the NHTSA

In this 2004 letter to the NHTSA, Amory Lovins challenges the agency’s proposed policy about the Automobile Fuel Economy Standards Program. He argues that NHTSA’s policy should be performance-based, not prescriptive; that the standards should be neutral as to vehicle mass, or favor the down-sized vehicles; if fuel-economy choices are…