Cleantech Innovation and 'Reinventing Fire' with Amory Lovins in San Diego on April 11

4/3/12Follow @bvbigelow

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his latest book, Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, which he co-authored with his fellow scientists at the Rocky Mountain Institute. (Lovins is the co-founder, chairman, and chief scientist of what he calls a “think-and-do tank” that is based in Snowmass and Boulder, CO.) He contends the United States can make this transition without oil, coal, or nukes—and by spending $5 trillion less than business-as-usual— and the result would be an economy that is 2.6 times bigger in 2050.

Lovins gained prominence in 1976 for his landmark essay, Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken, published in Foreign Affairs. He also preaches what he practices. At the Rocky Mountain Institute, he has spent the past 30 years working to realize his vision of an alternative energy strategy. His nonpartisan and economically based approach to energy policy has given him entre to numerous heads of state, and his long list of clients includes the Pentagon, Ford Motor Co., Wal-Mart, Corning, Monsanto, Ciba-Geigy, Texas Instruments, Unilever, and more than 100 utilities.

Throughout his career—and the 29 books he’s written—Lovins’s message has been remarkably consistent. Tapping market mechanisms to drive more efficient uses of resources isn’t simply a good thing for the global environment. It also generates greater employment, wealth, equality, and national security. Or as Lovins told us at an Xconomy event in 2008, it’s good for democracy and bad for tyranny and corruption.

After giving his keynote address, Lovins will sit down (on stage) with CleanTech CEO Jim Waring for a chat about the ways that San Diego’s entrepreneurs are applying green innovation in the energy-intensive sectors of transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity. The idea is to explore how clean technologies being developed in San Diego can be broadly applied to revolutionize markets around the world.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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