Amory Lovins, 2007

2007_LVolvo Environment Prize Foundation awards the 2007 prize to a visionary in the field of energy The Volvo Environment Prize Foundation is awarding the 2007 Volvo Environment Prize to Amory B. Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute, USA, for his exceptional breakthroughs in the field of energy.

Over the past 30 years, his contributions have encompassed both new theoretical know-how and practical applications for ways of reducing the use of energy. In order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and help resolve the climate issue, more efficient utilisation of energy is a vital tool.

Amory Lovins has developed a number of groundbreaking technical and economic concepts as well as action plans for various measures.

He has:
– for a long time been the leading proponent for the view that energy efficiency is the foremost means of resolving the energy issue.
– participated in 25 books, written hundreds of scientific and general-interest articles and held thousands of presentations and lectures that put the focus on energy.
– shown that climate-related measures can be profitable. In order to win support for his views, he has worked intensively with politicians and key industries and also served as advisor to companies and international organs.
– developed a model (Natural Capitalism) that demonstrates that investments in systematic, large-scale energy-efficiency measures promote both resource gains and financial profit.
– argued in favour of the USA becoming independent of oil by 2040 through market-driven measures and without this shift impacting negatively on the country’s economy.
– developed Hypercar®, an ultra-light concept car with low energy consumption and minimum emissions that was first unveiled in 1990. This concept has since then undergone continuous development by Hypercar Inc. in cooperation with other actors.
– for 30 years worked to systematise, develop and introduce new market-driven and financially viable energy solutions that take account of the overall picture and the complexity of the problems involved. The energy issue has been the main focal point and the applications have been shown in spheres such as construction and transportation as well as in a number of other areas.

Human-induced climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge facing mankind today. This year the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) presented a report which pointed out that greenhouse gases must be cut by 50-80% from 2000 to 2050 if the global rise in temperature is to be limited to 2.5 degrees Celsius compared with the pre-industrial era. In order to meet international climate targets, the industrialised world
must set the example and reduce its consumption of fossil fuels. This is only possible if we can improve the efficiency of our energy consumption.

The 2007  award-winner represents a particularly important area and the Volvo Environment Prize Foundation is particularly gratified that the jury chose to focus so firmly on this issue. Amory Lovins’ views, suggestions and technical solutions have often been called into question at the time of their presentation although time has shown that he leads the way and is a remarkable forward-thinker. Ideas and solutions that seemed spectacular when originally unveiled later gained general acceptance and are standard today.

Amory Lovins has dedicated his entire professional life to energy efficiency. His pioneering work has opened the door for others to follow in his footsteps and this has prompted new research areas and practical applications. As the founder and head scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute he has created a platform for research and interaction that has done a lot for innovation in the energy sphere. Amory Lovins is the visionary and creative physicist who has long been a leader in the field of energy efficiency and a man who walks the talk. At an altitude of 2200 metres above sea level in a ski resort in Colorado, he cultivates bananas and mangoes – among much else – in the institute’s jungle which is housed in a building constructed according to energy-efficiency principles and with the sun serving as the main source of heating.

Rocky Mountain Institute

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