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Reinventing Fire: The Business Case for a Clean Energy Future

22 June 2012

This talk was given by Dr. Amory Lovins, on June 22, 2012 at the IEA Headquarters in Paris, France.

Amory Lovins discussed the detailed business book, Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, which was published autumn 2011 by the independent non-profit think-and-do tank Rocky Mountain Institute. It shows how to run a 2.6x-bigger 2050 US economy (based on US EIA's January 2010 Reference Case) with no oil, coal, or nuclear energy, one-third less natural gas, and a $5-trillion lower net-present-value private internal cost than business-as-usual. The transition requires no new inventions and no Acts of Congress, but could be led by business for profit. This surprising result requires full integration of all four energy-using sectors (transport, buildings, industry, and electricity) and four kinds of innovation (technology, public policy, design, and business strategy). These US findings are probably largely fungible to a wide range of other societies.

Physicist Amory Lovins is Chairman and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute ( and Chairman Emeritus of Fiberforge Corporation ( His wide-ranging innovations in energy, security, environment, and development have been recognized by the Blue Planet, Volvo, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, the Benjamin Franklin and Happold Medals, 11 honorary doctorates, honorary membership of the American Institute of Architects, Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts, Foreign Membership of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and the Heinz, Lindbergh, Right Livelihood, National Design, and World Technology Awards. He advises governments and major firms worldwide on advanced energy and resource efficiency, has briefed 20 heads of state, and has led the technical redesign of more than $30 billion worth of industrial facilities in 29 sectors to achieve very large energy savings at typically lower capital cost. A Harvard and Oxford dropout, he has published 29 books and hundreds of papers and has taught at eight universities, most recently as a 2007 visiting professor in Stanford University’s School of Engineering. In 2009, Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers.

Source: IEA