ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

ARB - CEC Meeting Presentations

Dr. Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

April 17, 2001
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA


The Air Resources Board (ARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) sponsored four lectures on April 17-18, 2001, by leading thinker and internationally renowned physicist Dr. Amory B. Lovins.

On April 17 at the California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California:

Advanced Electric Efficiency and California's Electricity Options
Integrative design can often make very large savings of electricity cost less than small or no savings. Innovative ways to make markets in saved electricity can also complement traditional delivery methods. Systematic barrier-busting can turn the 60-80 obstacles to implementation into business opportunities. Together, the better design, technologies, delivery and barrier-busting methods can form the backbone of a least-cost response to California's electricity crisis.

Small Is Profitable: The Hidden Economic Benefits of Distributed Generation
A new Rocky Mountain Institute analysis many years in the making, to be published later this year, shows that over 120 "Distributed Benefits" can typically increase the economic value of decentralized electrical resources by about tenfold. These benefits come from financial economics, electrical engineering and many miscellaneous factors, but don't count important externalities. Public policy is not currently attuned to capturing most of them.

On April 18 at Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California:

Hypercars and Hydrogen
A breakthrough automotive design concept was incubated at Rocky Mountain Institute ( during 1991-1999. It combines ultralight but crashworthy advanced polymer-composite autobodies, ultra-low drag, and hybrid-electric propulsion in a highly integrated, radically simplified, software-rich design. A private spinoff company, Hypercar, Inc., completed in 2000 the virtual design and show-car construction of an uncompromised, zero-emission, 99 mpg midsized- SUV replacement on these lines. It is manufacturable and shows promise of competitive cost. It also holds the key to a rapid transition to a hydrogen economy in a sequence that is profitable at each step, starting now.

Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution
The first industrial revolution made people 100 times more productive when their relative scarcity was limiting progress in exploiting seemingly boundless nature. The next industrial revolution, already underway, adapts this logic to the new abundance of people and scarcity of nature. It productively uses and reinvests in all four forms of capital - not just money and goods but also nature and people. Specifically, natural capitalism ( combines radically increased resource productivity, closed-loop production with no waste or toxicity, a business model that rewards these steps and reinvestment in natural capital. Early adopters are finding greater short-term profits, happier workers and stunning competitive advantage. This new way of doing business as if nature and people were properly valued (but without needing to know what they're worth) will make traditional environmental regulation less necessary, because firms requiring it will be at such a competitive disadvantage against the natural capitalist firms that are already emerging.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Amory B. Lovins, an internationally renowned physicist, is Vice President and Director of Research at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado. The Harvard and Oxford-educated Dr. Lovins has briefed heads of state, published 27 books and hundreds of papers. The Wall Street Journal named him in the 1990s as among 28 people in the world most likely to change the course of business.

For a complete listing of the ARB Research Seminars and the related documentation
for the seminars please view the Main Seminars web page