Analyst: We’ve Misunderstood Energy Efficiency

According to energy expert, Amory Lovins, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, the energy industry has vastly misunderstood the scope of the energy efficiency resource. Lovins claims that it’s design, not technology that can achieve incredibly energy efficiency gains. Using his own home in the Colorado Rocky Mountains as an example, Lovins shows how simple changes in design have allowed him to grow banana crops using only natural sunlight and reduce the amount of energy he uses significantly. 

He writes in the abstract for his new report, “How big is the energy efficiency resource,” that the “efficiency resource far exceeds the sum of savings by individual technologies because artfully choosing, combining, sequencing, and timing fewer and simpler technologies can save more energy at lower cost than deploying more and fancier but dis-integrated and randomly timed technologies.”

He calls this method “integrative design” and says that it “is not yet widely known or applied, and can seem difficult because it is simple.”

Watch the video below for a complete description and download the full report here.

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Amory B. Lovins, an American consultant experimental physicist and 1993 MacArthur Fellow, has been active at the nexus of energy, resources, economy, environment, development, and security in more than 50 countries for over 40 years, including 14 years based in England. He is widely considered among the world’s leading authorities on energy—especially its efficient use and sustainable supply—and a fertile innovator in integrative design and in superefficient buildings, factories, and vehicles.

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