Listed below are all documents and RMI.org site pages related to this topic.
Energy and Resources - Energy Efficiency 63 Items
Report or White Paper, 2016
In 2014, Shell commissioned Amory Lovins to write a paper for its book The Colors of Energy www.shell.com/colours] commemorating the centenary of Shell’s Amsterdam Technical Centre, then to present its thesis at the ceremony, where it was warmly received. Its thesis: energy efficiency is a huge, cheap, often expanding-returns, and widely underestimated resource. The resulting risk: suppliers can run their supertanker into the iceberg of efficiency and sink without even knowing what they hit, because they weren’t properly tracking it and it wasn’t on their chart.
Journal or Magazine Article, Letter, 2014
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 Economist. Amory Lovins promptly rebutted Dr. Frank's paper in detail (www.rmi.org/frank_rebuttal). Three weeks later, an anonymous Economist writer posted a new essay called "New numbers, same conclusion" claiming that unpublished recalculations by Dr. Frank confirmed his original conclusions even if a few of the original errors asserted by Lovins were corrected to some unstated degree. This response by Lovins refutes that claim, describes 17 errors or misrepresentations in the new Economist essay, and encourages Dr. Frank to reply transparently and specifically to the original critique.
Report or White Paper, 2014
Global energy investment in buildings is on the rise, and many companies are taking part to earn a profit, manage risk, and meet growing stakeholder demands. The world’s largest companies have committed to aggressive goals such as becoming 100 percent powered by renewable energy, and are already profiting on their progress.
Significant business opportunities remain for the rest of the world’s major companies to set and achieve higher energy management goals. The key for these companies is to become more active energy consumers by identifying opportunities
for energy efficiency, power load flexibility, and renewable power generation investment. Companies can use the solutions proposed in this paper to get organized, capitalize upon specific opportunities, and optimize their overall approach to this business opportunity. The solutions are broad enough to be meaningful for most companies, yet some solutions will undoubtedly be more important for specific business sectors and situations.
Corporate real estate professionals who implement these solutions with the energy team have the opportunity to build significant company value. To assist in the implementation of these solutions, CoreNet Global and Rocky Mountain Institute will be facilitating ongoing interactions and events with members, such as roundtable discussions. Please inquire with the contacts of this paper for more information.
Fact-sheet or One-pager, 2014
4 Page fact sheet detailing the spiral of falling sales and rising electricity prices that make defection via solar-plus systems even more attractive and undermine utilities' traditional business models
Report or White Paper, 2014
Though many utilities rightly see the impending
arrival of solar-plus-battery grid parity as a threat,
they could also see such systems as an opportunity to
add value to the grid and their business models. The
important next question is how utilities might adjust
their existing business models or adopt new business
models—either within existing regulatory frameworks
or under an evolved regulatory landscape—to tap into
and maximize new sources of value that build the best
electricity system of the future at lowest cost to serve
customers and society. These questions will be the
subject of a forthcoming companion piece.
Journal or Magazine Article, Letter, 2014
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 by RMI's Amory Lovins shows that those priorities are artifacts of Dr. Frank's obsolete data. Replacing nine of his wrong numbers with up-to-date empirical ones, even without correcting his methodology, reverses his priorities to the ones most energy experts would expect: after efficiency, the best buys are hydropower (on his purely economic assumptions), then windpower, photovoltaics, gas combined-cycle (assuming 1.5% methane leakage and medium price volatility—assuming zero price volatility would put gas ahead of solar), and last of all nuclear power. Dr. Frank argued that the way most investors pick power-sector investments—lowest long-run economic cost—is wrong, or at least incomplete, because different technologies generate power at different times, creating different amounts of value. He's right that value as well as cost should be considered. But interestingly, using correct data, the cost- and value-based calculations yield the same priorities, so adjusting for time of generation doesn't matter. Those priorities would probably be further reinforced (other than big and some small hydropower) if other kinds of hidden costs, risks, and benefits were also considered. The more obvious of Dr. Frank's data problems were assuming wind and solar power half as productive and twice as costly as they actually are, gas power twice as productive as it actually is but with no methane leakage or price volatility (let alone extractive side-effects of fracking), nuclear power at about half its actual cost and construction time and one-fifth its actual operating cost, a supposed need for new generating capacity and for bulk electricity storage, and no efficiency opportunities worth mentioning. His method of analyzing grid reliability was also unique and strange. These assumptions drove his unwarranted but, thanks to the Economist, widely publicized conclusions.
Dr. Frank argued that the way most investors pick power-sector investments—lowest long-run economic cost—is wrong, or at least incomplete, because different technologies generate power at different times, creating different amounts of value. He's right that value as well as cost should be considered. But interestingly, using correct data, the cost- and value-based calculations yield the same priorities, so adjusting for time of generation doesn't matter. Those priorities would probably be further reinforced (other than big and some small hydropower) if other kinds of hidden costs, risks, and benefits were also considered.
Report or White Paper, 2014
This report examines the opportunity for accelerating Fort Collins’ energy and climate goals to reflect the community’s values while capturing economic, social, and environmental benefits. In the five years since Fort Collins initially established its current greenhouse gas emissions goals, rapid changes in the cost and availability of clean, energy efficient technologies, together with the emergence of new business models and financing methods for implementing these measures, have dramatically shifted the solutions space for addressing the community’s energy needs. The cost of solar panels, for example, has fallen nearly 75% since 2008, with further dramatic declines yet to come; the retail price for energy- efficient LED lightbulbs has fallen by 50% in the past year. These and other changes have opened the door for the City to implement new solutions to reduce emissions and waste, stimulate local economic development, improve security, and reduce risk.
This analysis indicates that, in the accelerated scenario, Fort Collins can achieve an approximate 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, two decades ahead of its existing 2050 greenhouse gas reduction target. In doing so, the community could:
• reduce building energy use by 31% through efficiency,
• achieve a carbon neutral electricity system by 2030, and
• reduce transportation energy use by 48%.
Your lament for Europe's money-losing electric utilities (), pickled in their own brine, begs the question whether old, long-and often still-subsidized oligopolies should be bailed out or shielded from competition when they bet against innovation and lose.They were supposed, but failed, to prepare for renewables by reinvesting their hundreds of billions of Euros' windfall from billing customers for the first decade's tradeable carbon emission credits they'd been given for free. Now they're whingeing that disruptive technologies are upending their old models. Of course: should we reject mobile phones because they disrupt wire line telcos? A well-designed, technology-neutral electric capacity market is worthwhile, but botched investment strategy should not be rewarded, nor should shareholders be surprised that utility shares no longer perform like bonds when 21st-Century technology and speed collide with 20th- and 19th-Century institutions, rules, and cultures.
Journal or Magazine Article, 2013
On April 24, 2013, The Atlantic ran a cover feature by writer Charles C. Mann, “What If We Never Run Out of Oil?” The piece contained a number of inaccuracies, to which Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder and chief scientist Amory B. Lovins responded in a rebuttal the magazine posted on May 13, 2013. One day later, Mann offered a counter of his own, but perpetuated a range of errors. In this definitive reply, Lovins sets the record straight.
Report or White Paper, 2013
The U.S. Navy is leading the way in the technical and economic testing and validation of microgrid technology as it looks for new ways to bolster the energy security on Naval bases. Much of the Navy’s leadership in this area will emanate from demonstrations happening on its U.S. bases located in the Southwest. As these bases begin to experiment with the technology, they face several major questions around microgrid design, evaluation, economics, and operation.
To begin to address these questions, NAVFAC Southwest worked with e-Lab on the design and execution of a two-day workshop April 16–17, 2013. Drawing on key stakeholders from inside the Navy and experts from outside, the workshop team identified five findings: NAVFAC Southwest is still developing a strategy to implement energy security goals stated by the Department of the Navy, Current approaches to renewable energy procurement place emphasis on utility-scale resources, which may not support efforts to bolster energy security through microgrids, Investment in expanding controls presents a near-term opportunity to begin to build toward microgrids while mitigating price risk, Microgrids connected at the distribution level are likely to incur high transaction costs to enable participation in electricity markets, Several entrenched barriers must be addressed to enable microgrid adoption across the Navy