The experts tell us an energy gap looms. Fossil fuels are phasing out, and solar and wind power can’t produce enough electricity to meet the demand in the coming decades.
But that’s not the thinking of Amory Lovins, the 76-year-old co-founder of RMI, formerly the Rocky Mountain Institute in western Colorado.
A Harvard and Oxford dropout who’s been called the “Einstein of Energy Efficiency, Lovins said recently: “If we do the right things, we’ll look back and ask each other, ‘What was all the fuss about?’”
Lovins became famous in the 1970s after his research told him that building more polluting coal-fired power plants was a destructive mistake. His solution then was greater efficiency and reliance on renewables, and they, he insists, are still the answer.
“Though it’s invisible, efficiency will cut 50% of energy use and up to 80% if we do the right things,” he told me recently. “Most of the energy we use is wasted, which makes it much cheaper to save it, rather than buy it or burn it.”