Renewables revolution now in full swing, says Amory Lovins.

Guardian: “Heating systems are so 20th century,” he says. “We have found you actually save money by not putting in a heating system. It’s cheaper. The monitoring system uses more energy than the lights.”
“Since 2008, half the world’s added electrical generating capacity has been renewable. Non hydro-electric renewables, chiefly wind and solar, were 49% of US and 69% of European capacity added last year.
“In three of the world’s top four economies, China, Japan and Germany, there was more generation of electricity from non-hydro renewables than from nuclear in 2012.”
Renewables have scaled up incredibly fast, he says. “Worldwide it is faster than mobile phones. More Kenyans now get first electricity now from solar than the grid. China got more generation from wind in 2012 than from nuclear and it added more generation from non-hydrorenewable energy than fossil and nuclear combined. It is now the world leader in seven of the 10 renewable energies and wants to be top in all 10. It appears to have added 12GW of photovoltaics in 2012 – that’s more than the total that have been installed in the US.”
….”The energy intensity of the US economy has declined 50% in 10 years, mostly because of better design. In 2012 the energy used to make a dollar of GDP went down by 3.4% in one year. We can see a very clear way forward to trebling energy efficiency by 2050.”
Most encouraging, he says, is that 14 states for electricity and 20 for natural gas now reward consumers for cutting bills. “That is the reverse of the use of electricity as a commodity. Electricity is an infrastructure, not a commodity. We need to reward the provider to give you lower bills”.
….2014, says Lovins, sees the commercial birth of the Hypercar, with the arrival of the all-carbon electric BMW i-3 family and the 313 miles per gallon Volkswagon XL1 with emissions of just 20g/km. “The car industry is notoriously slow to change,” he says, but “you could say the era of the hyper car is starting now.”
“In the future I see radically cheap renewable energy and storage, new types of battery, super-windows, cheap ways to instal LEDs in large buildings to eliminate wiring, many advances in insulating materials, smart thermostats that learn what comfort you want and buildings that do not need heating or cooling.”
….”Britain’s plan for a fleet of new nuclear power stations is … unbelievable,” he says. “It is economically daft. The guaranteed price [being offered to French state company EDF] is over seven times the unsubsidised price of new wind in the US, four or five times the unsubsidised price of new solar power in the US. Nuclear prices only go up. Renewable energy prices come down. There is absolutely no business case for nuclear. The British policy has nothing to do with economic or any other rational base for decision making.”
 
 
 
 
In the end, he says, “economics tends to win over stupid policy. The energy revolution is under way but there are decades of playing out to be done. It’s both encouraging and frustrating that it’s not going faster. This work requires relentless patience.”