Note — Apr 03, 2022

The Largest, Cheapest, Safest, Cleanest Way to Address the Crisis

John Vidal at The Guardian interviewing “Energy efficiency guru” Amory Lovins. Conceptually, he’s 100% right on everything he says. He’s been doing this for a while so one would hope he’s also correct on the specific stats he’s putting forward but my general impression is that Lovins’ numbers seem … very very optimistic, with “cut by 90%” here, “cut by 99%” there, and “cut by 97%” in this other place. As I said, he’s right in theory so I’m sharing the piece, but will have those numbers in mind to validate at some point. I also realised writing this that it’s the third article about a more holistic approach, this one with integrative design instead of, well, just building stuff without much thinking.

Lovins is arguing for the mass insulation of buildings alongside a vast acceleration of renewables. “We should crank [them] up with wartime urgency. There should be far more emphasis on efficiency,” he says. […]

“Solar and wind are now the cheapest bulk power sources in 91% of the world, and the UN’s International Energy Agency (IEA) expects renewables to generate 90% of all new power in the coming years. The energy revolution has happened. Sorry if you missed it,” he says. […]

“So if you do this across the whole economy, really designing whole systems in factories, equipment, buildings, vehicles, you’ll end up with severalfold larger energy savings than practically anyone now thinks is available. And the cost goes down.”