This book continues the presentation of the Lovins perspective, essentially the claim that there is great scope for conservation measures and alternative technologies to solve our problems and enable maintenance of rich world economies and lifestyles. My comments refer only to the two energy chapters, one on transport fuel and one on power supply. More importantly, I regard the arguments as quite unsatisfactory and unconvincing. They are almost all superficial; there is no detail and no derivation of conclusions. The core issues require numerical analyses; they are about whether or not quantities and targets can be achieved but there are few if any explanations of this kind in the energy chapters. The approach is to make vague and generalised claims, support them with a few spectacular examples, and proceed as if this establishes that the practice in question could be implemented everywhere.
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Rather, companies, planners and experts must devise hybrid solutions that solve parallel problems facing the U. Cutting the fossil fuel use is only part of the benefit. And this can all be done with no new technologies, no acts of Congress, with administrative decisions and led by business, for profit.
They could all be done administratively or at a state level. An example: The majority of states still reward utilities for selling more power, rather than cutting the bill. Reversing this is critical to enlisting utilities in the push to improve efficiency. Altering rules to encourage fair interconnection and open competition on the grid is controlled by FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission , and needs no legislative overhauls. Lovins has been thinking very big for a long time.
Getting to these goals, he argues, is about scaling up our thinking -- a tough challenge for policy makers and technicians trained to think incrementally.
Rather than focus on technology and policy, Lovins said his team factors in design -- with deep understanding of process technologies, such as how carbon fiber can be used to radically cut vehicle weight, and business strategy.
By getting competitive rewards right, he explained, there is scant need to regulate many of these transformations. The triumvirate of buildings, cars and the grid offer an example of the synergies has RMI identified. Buildings consume three-fourths of our power, yet neither buildings nor the grid have meaningful ability to store energy.
Vehicles meanwhile are electrifying, with the development of hybrid and battery-powered cars. Indeed, remaking the grid from its original centralized design, Lovins explained, represents one of the greatest challenges ahead, but that comes with enormous rewards.
As our grid becomes increasingly vulnerable to faults from equipment failure, willful attack or even sunspot activity, the risk of a cataclysmic national scale grid failure is rising. In the face of hundreds of blackouts in , Lovins said, Cuba reorganized its power transmission into networked island-able microgrids and cut the frequency of blackouts to zero within two years -- limiting damage even in the face of two hurricanes.
The best solution for any of these individual problems is the same. So whether or not one believes in climate change, the imperative to boost economic growth justifies the same approach. By focusing on outcomes, rather than motives, Lovins said, disagreements should disappear. Show comments for this story.
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Rather, companies, planners and experts must devise hybrid solutions that solve parallel problems facing the U. Cutting the fossil fuel use is only part of the benefit. And this can all be done with no new technologies, no acts of Congress, with administrative decisions and led by business, for profit. They could all be done administratively or at a state level. An example: The majority of states still reward utilities for selling more power, rather than cutting the bill.
Review: “Reinventing Fire” by Amory Lovins
Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute , that explores converting the United States to almost total reliance on renewable energy sources, such as solar energy and wind power. Lovins says that renewable energy is already cheaper than fossil fuels and his analysis predicts further reductions in renewable energy prices. Rowe , CEO of Exelon. Imagine fuel without fear. No climate change.
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