A 40-year plan for energy

a 40-year plan for energyThis is an interesting talk from Amory Lovins (Rocky Mountain Institute and reinventingfire.com) that he made in 2012 (I’m writing this in April 2016) about his 40-year plan for energy. It’s quite insightful and explains how the US can stop using oil for transportation in 40 years and do so without the need for government rules or extra costs. In fact, businesses will do it on their own because it’s good for business and the total savings would be in the order of $5 trillion.

Watch the video below and see my notes below that.

Amory Lovins: A 40-year plan for energy 

My Notes from this talk – A 40-year plan for energy

  • “Less than one percent of our electricity is made from oil — although almost half is made from coal.”
  • “Three-fourths of our oil fuel is transportation.”
  • “So very efficient vehicles, buildings and factories save oil and coal, and also natural gas that can displace both of them.”
  • “We can eliminate our addiction to oil and coal by 2050 and use one-third less natural gas while switching to efficient use and renewable supply. This could cost, by 2050, five trillion dollars less”
  • “Yet this cheaper energy system could support 158 percent bigger U.S. economy all without needing oil or coal, or for that matter nuclear energy.”
  • “…today, ultralight, ultrastrong materials, like carbon fiber composites,can make dramatic weight savings snowball and can make cars simpler and cheaper to build.”
  • “The resulting shift to electric autos is going to be as game-changing as shifting from typewriters to the gains in computers.”
  • “Also last year, BMW announced this carbon fiber electric car, they said that its carbon fiber is paid for by needing fewer batteries.”
  • “If we made all of our autos this way, it would save oil equivalent to finding one and a half Saudi Arabias”
  • “So 40 years hence, when you add it all up, a far more mobile U.S. economy can use no oil. Saving or displacing barrels for 25 bucks rather than buying them for over a hundred, adds up to a $4 trillion net saving counting all the hidden costs at zero.”
  • “And the most biofuel we might need, just three million barrels a day, can be made two-thirds from waste without displacing any cropland and without harming soil or climate.”
  • “And the long transition is already well under way. In fact, three years ago mainstream analysts were starting to see peak oil, not in supply, but in demand.”
  • “But as efficiency in buildings and industry starts to grow faster than the economy, America’s electricity use could actually shrink”
  • “Over the next 40 years, buildings, which use three-quarters of the electricity, can triple or quadruple their energy productivity, saving 1.4 trillion dollars, net present value”
  • Now needing less electricity would ease and speed the shift to new sources of electricity, chiefly renewables.”
  • “Renewables are no longer a fringe activity. For each of the past four years half of the world’s new generating capacity has been renewable, mainly lately in developing countries.”
  • “So our energy future is not fate, but choice, and that choice is very flexible.”
  • “I’ve described not just a once-in-a-civilization business opportunity, but one of the most profound transitions in the history of our species. We humans are inventing a new fire, not dug from below, but flowing from above; not scarce, but bountiful; not local, but everywhere; not transient, but permanent; not costly, but free.”

A 40-year plan for energy

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