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Winter 2014 (Vol. 7, No. 1)

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Distributed Defectors

By Peter Bronski

A day is coming when solar-plus-battery systems will become cheaper than utility-sourced electricity, making customer grid defection a possibility. but when and where could this happen, and is defection in everyone's best interest? A new RMI report, The Economics of Grid Defection, offers some answers. Read More.


BMW’s Big Bet on Carbon Fiber

By Wendee Nicole

BMW has completely reinvented the way to manufacture a car with the i3, crafting the world’s first production car—not just electric vehicle (EV)—with an all-carbon-fiber passenger compartment. Read More.


Taking a Stand

Transforming global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure energy future is an ambitious, vital undertaking—and our sole focus. It demands all our determination and expertise. To succeed, we must rapidly scale our impact—to “reinvent fire”—making the shift from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and renewables by 2050, if not sooner. Read More.


More Winter 2014 Articles



Letter From the CEO: Reinventing RMI

By Jules Kortenhorst

Turning Reinventing Fire from vision into reality—by 2050, if not sooner—is a big goal. That’s why our recent strategy process defined ambitious and impactful 2025 program goals to drive change, as well as near-term milestones that each guide our next steps. Read more.


Amory's Angle: Ramping Up Renewable Electricity

By Amory B. Lovins

Many people in the electricity industry long thought that the two renewable sources of electricity that vary widely over time could provide only a few percent of total generation without endangering reliability. Those who still believe this now face increasingly severe reality tests. Read more.


RMI In Brief: News From Around the Institute

Updates on Project Get Ready, Superefficient Housing, Energy efficiency at The Exchange,  shaping a new energy future in Minnesota, and accelerating efficiency, solar, and net zero in Fort Collins. Read more.


RMI In Brief: John Denver Aspenglow Fund Lights RMI's Way

By Marty Pickett

From “Sunshine on My Shoulders” to “Rocky Mountain High,” John Denver’s songs are loved by millions. But another legacy remains: his passion for the environment and humanity. Read more.


RMI In Brief: Momentum Builds In China

By Clay Stranger

In November 2013, Rocky Mountain Institute joined partners Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Energy Research Institute, and Energy Foundation China in Beijing to participate in China’s Senior Policy Advisory Council Dialogue. Read more.


Innovation Beacon:Streamlining Solar

By Todd Neff

Between 2008 and 2012 the installed cost of a residential rooftop solar PV system in the U.S. declined by 37 percent. That sounds like good news, and it is, but more than 80 percent of that cost decline was due to module prices. Balance-of-system costs remain high, so solar can—and needs—to do better. Read more.


Insights: Recent White Papers and Reports

Our most recent works include Advancing Military Microgrids, Reducing Solar PV Soft Costs, How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value, and Building Energy Modeling for Owners and ManagersRead more.


Walk the Walk: Pedal Pusher

By Jesse Morris

Standing behind an information table at my local farmer’s market last summer, a second-home owner from Texas who lives part time in Aspen, Colorado, asked me, “Is this part of that big, communist, United Nations scheme to get me out of my car?” Read more.


The High-Renewables Pathway

By Laurie Guevara-Stone

When it comes to the Caribbean islands, monikers like “tropical paradise” get thrown around a lot. Full-time residents, though, know another reality: extremely costly retail electricity, dependence on fossil fuel imports, and vulnerability to climate change. Read more.


It Takes A Village

By James Newcomb and Robert "Hutch" Hutchinson

In the past few years, net-zero buildings—those that produce as much (or more) clean energy on site as they use annually—have been gaining momentum. Enter the biggest growing trend for net-zero energy planning and design: net-zero districts, campuses, and even entire communities. Read more.


By The Numbers: Deep Retrofit Value Infographic

High-performance buildings generate far more value than energy savings alone.  Read more.

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