Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lovins on DOD Energy (Part I)

Had the great good fortune to hear pioneering energy thinker Amory Lovins speak to a small group of VCs and entrepreneurs in Cambridge, MA last night at an event hosted by innovation aggregator Xconomy. And even had a chance for a little one-on-one conversation afterwards. A number of good DOD related topics emerged, so I'm going to make this a 2-part post.

Here's some background info on Lovins for those of you not already familiar with his work:
  • Author of seminal 1976 article appearing in Foreign Affairs: Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?
  • In 1982, founded the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in Snowmass, CO
  • Author of Winning the Oil Endgame - essential reading published in 2005
  • Served on the DSB Energy Task Force that published my favorite DOD energy report in Feb 2008 (see link in sidebar). Said overall it's a quality piece of work, though he would have emphasized some aspects more ... like the massive endurance benefits DOD gets via efficiency improvements
Last night, with < $50 barrel oil casting a shadow over entrepreneurs and investors who had a much easier time proving the value of their solutions when oil was $147, Lovins said he believes energy will remain at the forefront of DOD and National strategy thinking, even as fuel prices have fallen. This time, with climate change and energy security now both big parts of the equation, there will be little let-up in our pursuit for better energy ideas ... and for making oil a less-than-strategic commodity. To be continued ...

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