RMI Experts in “reinventing fire” to help Bay Area go Carbon-free by 2030

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Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the world’s leading non-profit dedicated to resource and energy efficiency, and sponsor of a symposium this Thursday through Saturday in San Francisco around the concept of “reinventing fire,” has been hired to help the Bay Area in its quest to go carbon-free by the year 2030. San Franciscans are invited to mingle with the experts involved at a public reception and panel discussion this Friday at the Westin –Market Street. Tickets are available for $35 at http://www.rmi2009.org.

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RMI2009: From Ideas to Solutions

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the world’s leading non-profit dedicated to resource and energy efficiency, and sponsor of a symposium this Thursday through Saturday in San Francisco around the concept of “reinventing fire,” has been hired to help the Bay area in its quest to go carbon-free.

The public is invited to mingle with RMI’s experts and learn more about how that will be achieved at receptions Thursday and Friday night, for which tickets are still available from the California Academy of Sciences and at the RMI2009 website.

RMI is now at work for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) on a new "energy resource investment strategy” that is designed to get residents, businesses, and municipal end users to the City’s goal of no greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity consumed by the year 2030.

RMI will begin by collecting information on how San Francisco uses electricity: the peaks and troughs of demand at various times and seasons, various kinds of buildings that use the most power, and variations among homes, businesses, and factories. This will be used to develop a “base case” carbon emissions trajectory to 2030. Then the gaps between current trends and the city’s 2030 carbon goal will be identified, and RMI will recommend various pathways to reach the goal in a few likely future scenarios.

According to RMI principal Kitty Wang, "The carbon goal that San Francisco has set is extremely ambitious, yet it is aligned with RMI's mission to transform the electric system into one with no carbon emissions. This collaboration provides RMI with the chance to partner with utilities in applying our vision to a major system, and test various hypotheses about how such a system will work."

The Climate Action Plan developed jointly by the San Francisco Department of Environment and the SFPUC requires the city to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions 32% by 2012, relative to 2000, with the long-term goal of “no greenhouse gas emissions” by investing in efficiency, renewable power, and new power infrastructure for delivery to homes and businesses.

RMI first assisted the City in developing an energy investment plan in 2002, which contributed to the closure of an aging, highly polluting power plant located in Hunters Point. Since then, as its proposal to the SFPUC says, “a lot has changed” with digital technology, batteries, plug-in hybrids, a smarter electric grid, and the plummeting cost of wind and solar alternatives to fossil fuels.

RMI’s Founder and Chief Scientist, Amory Lovins and many top experts in renewable energy and energy efficiency will be in town this week for the symposium, “RMI2009: From Ideas to Solutions,” taking place Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 1-3, 2009 at the Westin – Market Street in San Francisco. The theme is “reinventing fire” and moving the world off fossil fuels. At the symposium, Lovins will be joined by sustainable business leaders from PG&E, Hewlett Packard, Wein and Malkin, and Saatchi & Saatchi S., among others.

Those who want to network with likeminded professionals may join RMI for the entire two-day symposium, or elect to participate in just the “RMIQuest for Solutions” panel discussion from 7 to 9 pm Friday night, Oct. 2, with additional time before and after for networking and a dessert reception. Tickets are available for $35 from rmi2009.org by selecting “RMIQ-only attendees.” The first 100 students with a valid ID will get in free, as will RMI alumni.

Those who prefer nightlife can join RMI staff members at the California Academy of Sciences Thursday, October 1 from 6 pm to 10 pm, as they host CAS NightLife in honor of the first anniversary of a building that RMI helped guide through the LEED certification process for green buildings. Tickets are $12 from the [California Academy website.

The full agenda, list of confirmed speakers, and public registration page can be found here.

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Patricia Charles
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