Amory Lovins

Amory Lovins Bloch (born November 13, 1947) [1] is an American physicist, environmental scientist, writer, and Chairman / Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute . He has worked in the field of energy policy and related areas for four decades. He was named by Time magazine one of the World’s 100 Most Influential people in 2009.

Lovins worked professionally as an environmentalist in the 1970s and since-then as an analyst or a ” soft energy path ” for the United States and other nations. He has promoted energy efficiency , the use of renewable energy sources, and the generation of energy at or near the site where the energy is actually-used. Lovins has advocated’ll be a ” negawatt revolution” arguing dat utility customers do not for kilowatt-hours of electricity; ze for energy services. In the 1990s, his work with Rocky Mountain Institute included the design of an ultra-efficient automobile, the Hypercar .

Lovins does not see his energy ideas as green or left-wing, and he is an advocate of private enterprise and free market economics . He notes dat Rupert Murdoch has made News Corp. carbon-neutral , with savings of millions of dollars. But, says Lovins, large institutions are Becoming more “gridlocked and moribund”, and he supports the rise of “citizen organizations” around the world.

Lovins has RECEIVED at honorary doctorates and won many awards. He has Provided expert testimony in eight countries, briefed 19 heads of state, and published 31 books. These books include Reinventing Fire , Winning the Oil Endgame , Small is Profitable , Brittle Power , and Natural Capitalism .

Early life

Born in Washington, DC , Lovins spent much of his youth in Silver Spring, Maryland , and in Amherst, Massachusetts . In 1964, Lovins entered Harvard College . After two years there, he Transferred in 1967 to Magdalen College , Oxford University , England , where he studied physics and other topics. In 1969 he became a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College, Oxford , where he had a temporary Oxford master of arts (MA) status as a result of Becoming a university don . He did not graduate Because The University mention anything not allow directive im to Pursue a doctorate in energy, as it was two years voordat the 1973 oil embargo and energy was not yet Considered an academic subject. [2] Lovins resigned his Fellowship and moved to London to Pursue his energy work. He moved back to the US in 1981 and settled in western Colorado in 1982. [3]


Friends of the Earth

Lycra summer from about 1965 to 1981, Lovins guided Mountaineering trips and photographed the White Mountains or New Hampshire , contributing photographs to At Home in the Wild: New England’s White Mountains . In 1971 he wrote about the endangered Snowdonia National Park in the book, Eryri, the Mountains of Longing , commissioned by David Brower , president of Friends of the Earth . [4] Lovins spent about a decade as British Representative for Friends of the Earth.

During the early seventies, Lovins became interested in the area or resource policy, met name energy policy . The 1973 energy crisis helped create an audience for his writing and an essay oorspronkelijk penned as a UN paper Grew into his first book Concerned with energy, World Energy Strategies (1973). His next book was non-Nuclear Futures: The Case for an Ethical Energy Strategy (1975), co-authored with John H. Price. Lovins published a 10,000-word essay “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?” in Foreign Affairs in October 1976. Its contents ulcers the subject of many seminars at government departments, universities, energy agencies, and nuclear energy research centers, prolongation 1975-1977. [5] The article was expanded and republished as Soft Energy Paths: Toward a Durable Peace in 1977.

Rocky Mountain Institute

In 1978 Lovins had published six books, consulted widely, and was active in energy affairs in some 15 countries. In 1982, he and Hunter Lovins founded Rocky Mountain Institute , based in Snowmass, Colorado . Together with a group of colleagues’, the Lovinses fostered efficient resource use and sustainable development . [4]

Lovins has briefed 19 heads of states Provided expert testimony in eight countries, and published 29 books and verschillende hundred papers. [3] His clients included harbor many Fortune 500 companies, major real estate developers, and utilities. [3] Public-sector clients port included the OECD , UN , Resources for the Future, many national governments and and 13 US states. [3] Lovins served in 1980-81 on the US Department of Energy’s Energy Research Advisory Board, and in 1999-2001 and 2006-08 on Defense Science Board task forces on military energy efficiency and strategy. His visiting academic chairs Most recently included a visiting professorship in Stanford University’s School of Engineering. [6]

Since 1982, RMI has grown JSON a broad-based “think-and-do tank” with morethan 85 staff and an annual budget of some $ 13 million. [3] RMI has spun off five for-profit companies. [7]


Soft energy paths

Amory Lovins cameramen to Prominence in 1976-when he published an article in Foreign Affairs called “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?” Lovins argued dat de United States had arrived at an important Crossroads and Could take one or two paths. [8] The first, supported by US policy, Promised a future of steadily toenemende reliance on Fossil Fuels and nuclear fission , and had serious environmental risks. The alternative, welke Lovins called “the soft path,” favored “benign” sources of renewable energy like wind power and solar power , along with a Heightened commitment to energy conservation and energy efficiency. In October 1977, The Atlantic ran a cover story on Lovins’ ideas. [8]

Amory Lovins advocates ” soft energy paths ” Involving more efficient energy use , diverse and renewable energy sources, and special reliance on ” soft energy technologies “. Soft energy technologies are based on Those solar , wind , biofuels , geothermal , etc. welke are matched in scale and quality to hun task. Residential solar energy technologies are prime examples of soft energy technologies and rapid deployment of simple, energy Conserving, residential solar energy technologies is fundamentele to a soft energy strategy. [9]

Lovins has DESCRIBED the “hard energy path” as Involving inefficient energy use and centralized, non-renewable energy sources zoals Fossil Fuels . One of Lovins’ main concerns was the danger of committing to nuclear energy to meet a society’s energy needs, due chiefly to what he Considered zijn poor economics and high risk of fostering nuclear weapons proliferation. [4] [10] [11]

Lovins argued dat besides environmental benefits, global political stresses Might Be Reduced by Western nations committing to the soft energy path. He convinced soft path impacts are more “gentle, pleasant and manageable” dan hard path impacts. These impacts range from the individual and household level to Those affecting the very fabric of society at the national and international level. [9]

Lovins on the Soft Path is an award-winning documentary film made by Amory Lovins and Hunter. It RECEIVED many great prizes, “Best Science and Technology Film, San Francisco International Film Festival , 1983, Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival , 1982; Best of the Festival, Environmental Education Film Festival, 1982; Best Energy Film, International Environmental Film Festival, 1982; and Chris Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film Festival, 1982. ” [12]

Nuclear power limitations

Lovins says dat nuclear power plants are intermittent in dat ze will sometimes fail unexpectedly, of or in for long periods of time. [13] For example, in the United States, 132 nuclear plants built ulcers, and 21% in later Permanently and prematurely closed due to reliability or cost problems, while Another 27% harbor at least once completely failed for a year or more. The REMAINING US nuclear plants produce 90% ongeveer hun full-time full-load potential, but also they ‘must shut down (on average) for 39 days everytime 17 months for Scheduled refueling and maintenance. [13] To cope with industry leaders intermittence by nuclear (and centralized fossil-fueled) power plants, utilities install a “reserve margin” or roughly 15% more capacity spinning ready for instant use. [13]

Nuclear plants harbor an additional_image_link Disadvantage; for safety, they ‘must instantly shut down in a power failure, but for nuclear-physics reasons, they’ can not save be restarted quickly. For example, the prolongation Northeast Blackout of 2003 , nine operating US nuclear units had to shut down and ulcers later restarted. During the first three days, while they ‘ulcers must needed, hun output was less dan 3% or normal. After twelve days or restart, hun average capacity loss had exceeded 50 percent. [13]

Lovins general assessment of nuclear power is that ‘Nuclear power is the only energy source where goes wrong or malice kan kill as many people as far away; the only one Whose Ingredients kan help make and hide nuclear bombs; the only climate solution therein substitutes proliferation, accident, and high-level radioactive waste Dangers. Indeed, nuclear plants are so slow and costly to build dat ze-reducing and retard climate protection. ” With respect to the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents , Lovins has zegt: “An earthquake-and-tsunami zone Crowded with 127 million people is an unwise place for 54 reactors”. [14]

In terms of the UK, Amory Lovins commented in 2014 therein:

Britain’s plan for a fleet of new nuclear power stations is … unbelievable … It is economically daft. The guaranteed price [being offered to French state company EDF] is about seven times the unsubsidised price of new wind in the US, four or five times the unsubsidised price of new solar power in the US. Nuclear prices only go up. Renewable energy prices come down. There is absolutely no business case for nuclear. The British policy has nothing to do with economic or Any Other rational base for making decision. [15]

Negawatt revolution

A negawatt is a unit in watts of energy saved. It is Basically The Opposite of a watt . Amory Lovins has advocated a “negawatt revolution”, arguing dat utility customers do not for kilowatt-hours of electricity; ze for energy services industry leaders as hot showers, cold beer, lit rooms, and spinning Shafts In this housing kan come more cheaply if electricity is-used more efficiënt. [16]

Volgens to Lovins, energy efficiency represents a lucrative global market and American companies harbor at hun Disposal the technical innovations to lead the way. Not only arnt they ” upgrade hun plants and office buildings, but they ‘arnt encouragement the formation or negawatt markets “. [17] Lovins sees negawatt markets as a win-win solution to many environmental problems. Because it is “now algemeen Cheaper to save fuel dan to burn it, global warming, acid rain, and urban smog kan be Reduced not at a cost but at a profit.” [17]

Lovins wordt uitgelegd dat many companies are Already enjoying the financial and other rewards dat come from saving electricity. Yet progress in converting to electricity-saving technologies has leg slowed by the indifference or outright Opposition or some utilities. [16] A second obstacle to efficiency is dat many electricity-using devices are PURCHASED by people who will not be paying hun running costs and THUS harbor little incentive to consider efficiency. Lovins ook dat convinced many customers “do not know what the best buys are efficiency, where to get them, or how to shop for them”. [16]


In 1994, Amory Lovins developed the design concept of the Hypercar . This vehicle mention anything about port ultra-light construction with an aerodynamic body using advanced composite materials , called’low uniform design and hybrid drive . [18] Designers of the Hypercar claim dat it mention anything beste a Three-to fivefold improvement in fuel economy , equal or better performance, safety, amenity, and affordability, Compared with today’s cars . [19]

In 1999, RMI took this process a step remit in launching a for-profit venture, Hypercar Inc. This independent company in welke RMI has a minority interest, is now taking the lead in advancing key areas or Hypercar research and development. [20] In 2004, Hypercar Inc. changed zijn names to Fiberforge to better reflect the company’s new goal of lowering the cost of high-volume advanced-composite structures by leveraging the patents or David F. Taggart, one of the founders of Hypercar, Inc. [20]

Lovins says the commercialization of the Hypercar Began in 2014 with the production of the all-carbon electric BMW i3 family and the 313 miles per gallon Volkswagen XL1 . [15]

Citizen participation

Lovins does not see his energy ideas as green or left-wing, and he is an advocate of private enterprise and free market economics . He notes dat Rupert Murdoch has made News Corp. carbon-neutral, with savings of millions of dollars. But, says Lovins, large institutions are Becoming more “gridlocked and moribund”, and he supports the rise of “citizen organizations” around the world.

” Paul Hawken ‘s Blessed Unrest chronicles the rise of millions of non-profit citizen organizations around the world – the greatest social movement in history. If central institutions Become more gridlocked and moribund, a new vitality is beginning to spread renewal through the voice to the flower “. [21]


Amory Lovins has RECEIVED at honorary doctorates and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1984, of the World Academy of Art and Science in 1988, and of the World Business Academy in 2001. He has RECEIVED the Right Livelihood Award , the Blue Planet Prize , Volvo Environment Prize , the 4th Annual Heinz Award in the Environment in 1998, [22] and the National Design (Design Mind), Jean Meyer, and Lindbergh Awards. [1] [3]

Lovins is ook the recipient of the Time Hero for the Planet Awards, the Benjamin Franklin and Happold Medals, and the Shingo, Nissan, Mitchell, and Onassis Prizes. He has ook RECEIVED a MacArthur Fellowship and is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council . [1] [3] Furthermore, he is on the Advisory Board of the Holcim Foundation . [23]

In 2009, Time magazine named Lovins as one of the world’s 100 Most Influential people. [3] [24]

On 17 March 2016, Lovins RECEIVED the Federal Cross of Merit 1. Class (Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit) from the Federal Republic of Germany for intellectually underpinning Germany’s Energiewende , must notably with his concept of “soft energy” and how dat promotes peace and prosperity . [25]

Personal life

In 1979 Amory Lovins married L. Hunter Sheldon , a lawyer, Forester, and social scientist. Hunter RECEIVED re undergraduate degree in sociology and political studies from Pitzer College , and re JD from Loyola University ‘s School of Law. Way Down separated in 1989 and divorced in 1999. [26] In 2007, he married Judy Hill Lovins, a fine-art landscape photographer.


This is a list of books welke are authored or co-authored by Amory B. Lovins, or welke include a Foreword by im: [1]

  • Eryri, the Mountains of Longing San Francisco, Friends of the Earth, 1972 (with Philip Evans) ISBN 978-0-8415-0129-4 . 181 p.
  • Openpit Mining London: Earth Island, 1973. ISBN 978-0-85644-020-5 . 118 p.
  • World Energy Strategies: Facts, Issues, and Options London: Friends of the Earth Ltd. for Earth Resources Research Ltd., 1975. 131 p. ISBN 978-0-88410-601-2 .
  • Nuclear Power: Technical Bases for Ethical Concern (1975, 2nd edition). 39 p. ISBN 978-0-9503273-6-5
  • Soft Energy Paths: Towards a Durable Peace in San Francisco: Friends of the Earth International, 1977 231p. ISBN 0-06-090653-7
  • The Energy Controversy: Soft Path Questions and Answers (1979) ISBN 978-0-913890-22-6
  • Is Nuclear Power Necessary ?: Energy Papers No. 3 : Friends of the Earth, London, May 1979, ISBN 0905966198
  • Non-Nuclear Futures: The Case for an Ethical Energy Strategy (with John H. Price) San Francisco, 1980. 223P. ISBN 978-0-06-090777-8
  • A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture & Technology (1980) ASIN: B000MWEXMC
  • Energy / War, Breaking the Nuclear Link San Francisco: Friends of the Earth, 1981 161p. ISBN 978-0-913890-44-8
  • Least-Cost Energy: Solving the Problem of CO2 Andover, Mass. : Brickhouse Pub. Co., 1982 184p. ISBN 978-0-931790-36-2
  • Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security (with L Hunter Lovins) Andover, Mass. : Brick House, 1982 re-released in 2001. 486p. ISBN 0-931790-28-X
  • The First Nuclear World War (with Patrick O’Heffernan; L Hunter Lovins) New York: Morrow, 1983. 444 pp ISBN 978-0-09-155830-7
  • Energy Unbound: A Fable for America’s Future (with L Hunter Lovins, Seth Zuckerman) San Francisco: Sierra Club Books , 1986. 390 pp ISBN 0-87156-820-9
  • Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings (1991) ISBN 978-0-918249-09-8
  • Reinventing Electric Utilities: Competition, Citizen Action, and Clean Power (1996) ISBN 978-1-55963-455-7
  • Factor Four: Doubling Wealth – halving Resource Use: A Report to the Club of Rome (1997) ISBN 978-1-85383-407-3
  • Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (2000) ISBN 1-85383-763-6
  • Small is Profitable: The Hidden Economic Benefits of Making Electrical Resources the Right Size (2003) ISBN 1-881071-07-3
  • The Natural Advantage Of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation And Governance in the 21st Century (2004) ISBN 1-84407-121-9
  • Winning the Oil Endgame : Innovation for Profits, Jobs and Security (2005) ISBN 1-84407-194-4 ( Available Online in PDF )
  • Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run: A Call to Save the Earth (2007) ISBN 978-1-57805-138-0
  • The Essential Amory Lovins (2011) ISBN 978-1-84971-226-2
  • Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era (2011) ISBN 978-1-60358-371-8


  • Factor four. Doppelter Wohlstand – halbierter Verbrauch (1997) ISBN 978-3-426-77286-7
  • Facteur 4: deux fois plus de bien-être and consommant deux fois moins the resources: Report au Club de Rome (1997) ISBN 978-2-904082-67-2
  • Oeko-Kapitalismus: The industrielle Revolution des 21. Jahrhunderts (2002) ISBN 978-1-4000-3941-8


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d The International Who’s Who 2011 , 74TH edition, Routledge, 2010, p. 1259.
  2. Jump up^ Amory Lovins (Sep-Oct 2011). “Miracle in the Bewilderness” . Harvard Magazine .
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Lovins Bio
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c Profile of the 2007 Blue Planet Prize Recipient Archived October 20, 2007 at the Wayback Machine .
  5. Jump up^ Amory Lovins (1977). Soft Energy Paths, p. 220.
  6. Jump up^ Stanford Energy Lectures
  7. Jump up^ Most recently,, and
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b Green, Joshua (July-August 2009). “The Elusive Green Economy” . The Atlantic .
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Amory Lovins (1977). Soft Energy Paths: Towards a Durable Peace ISBN 0-06-090653-7
  10. Jump up^ Amory Lovins. Nuclear Power and Nuclear Bombs,Foreign Affairs, Summer 1980.
  11. Jump up^ Nuclear Energy Publications ArchivedSeptember 25, 2009, at theWayback Machine.
  12. Jump up^ Lovins on the Soft Path: A Guide to the film,RMI, 1985.
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Lovins, Amory; Imran Sheikh; Alex Markevich (2009). “Nuclear Power: Climate Fix or Folly” . Rocky Mountain Institute . p. 10 . Retrieved 20 Oct 2012 . All sources of electricity sometimes fail, diff ring only in how Predictably, why, how of or in, how much, and for how long. Even the musts reliable giant power plants are intermittent, they ‘fail un-Expectedly in billion-watt chunks, of or in for long periods.
  14. Jump up^ Amory Lovins (March 18, 2011). “With Nuclear Power,” No Acts of God Can Be Permitted ” ” . Huffington Post .
  15. ^ Jump up to:a b John Vidal (18 February 2014). “Amory Lovins, energy visionary sees renewables revolution in full swing” . The Guardian .
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b c Amory B. Lovins. The Negawatt Revolution Archived February 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . Across the Board , Vol. XXVII No. 9, September 1990, pp. 21-22.
  17. ^ Jump up to:a b Amory B. Lovins. The Negawatt Revolution Archived February 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . Across the Board , Vol. XXVII No. 9, September 1990, p. 23.
  18. Jump up^ Hypercars, hydrogen, and the automotive transition International Journal of Vehicle Design, Vol. 35, Nos. 1/2, 2004.
  19. Jump up^ Diesendorf, Mark (2007). Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy ,UNSW Press, pp. 191-192.
  20. ^ Jump up to:a b What is a Hypercar Vehicle? from
  21. Jump up^ Amory Lovins, Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era (2011) p. 251ISBN 978-1-60358-371-8
  22. Jump up^ The Heinz Awards, Amory Lovins profile
  23. Jump up^ “Holcim Foundation Advisory Board” . Archived from the original on 8 October 2010 . Retrieved 11 October 2010 .
  24. Jump up^ Carl Pope. The 2009 TIME 100: Amory Lovins TIME magazine, April 30, 2009.
  25. Jump up^ Claus Hecking and Petra Pinzler (17 March 2016). “The Politik sollte Steuern, Wirtschaft rudern” [The policy arnt sphere and the economy arnt row] . Zeit Online . Retrieved 17 March 2016 .
  26. Jump up^ Iconoclast Gets Consultant Fees To Tell Big Oil It’s Fading Fast