We are faced with a looming climate crisis from the fivefold increase in demand for cooling in developing countries. To mitigate the negative impact from this adoption, the world needs a technology that is at least five times (5x) better for the climate. And we at RMI believe this is possible.
Bold innovation is at the heart of everything we do at RMI, because we know that a business-as-usual approach will not solve our global climate challenge. At the root of any market, technology, or policy solution is innovation. We need to unearth the best ideas from the brightest minds to drive a clean energy future. And we need the courage, diligence, and tools to enable these innovations to surface and compete against powerful incumbents.
Energy innovation is key to a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future, but is too often blocked by incumbents. Our market interventions jumpstart innovation, market transformation, and growth.
Renewable and distributed resources—such as rooftop solar and batteries—are not being integrated into the system quickly enough. Oftentimes, new market entrants are even blocked by incumbents interested in maintaining the dangerous status quo of a centralized, fossil fuel-powered system. If we truly want to decarbonize the electricity and transportation systems, we’ll need to rely heavily on innovations in technology, business models, regulatory models, and more.
Photo credit: Annie Spratt
The Global Cooling Prize
Residential cooling poses the biggest end-use risk to our climate. To face this challenge head-on, RMI and a global coalition of partners have launched an innovation competition to develop a climate-friendly residential cooling solution that can provide access to cooling to people around the world without warming the planet.
Reducing Emissions Automatically with WattTime
WattTime, a market-affiliate of RMI harnesses the power of real-time data to give customers the power to choose clean energy easily and automatically. At scale, WattTime can help billions to draw power at cleaner times, and by doing so mitigate the carbon equivalent of removing more than eight million cars off the road.
The Energy Web Foundation
The Energy Web Foundation, a market-affiliate of RMI, is developing a groundbreaking open-source, scalable blockchain platform that serves as a foundational, shared, digital infrastructure for the energy and blockchain community to build and run their solutions. Ultimately, it will lead to a network where hundreds of millions of distributed energy resources can make the electric grid less costly, more resilient, and much, much cleaner.
Fotografie Rick Akkerman
REALIZE is helping to bring the clean industrial revolution to America’s homes by catalyzing the development of a speedy and scalable process for zero-carbon residential retrofits. This innovative model employs a process that combines aggregation of demand coordinated with the supply chain to deploy prefabricated mass-scale retrofits. Think of it like an IKEA© net-zero retrofit!
Driving Innovation Through Collaboration
Breakthrough innovations often come from close collaboration between different stakeholders who bring unique perspectives, values, and interests. The Electricity Innovation Lab was founded in 2012 to convene a bold and diverse set of electricity stakeholders to innovate solutions that solve the industry's toughest problems. Since its founding, the group has been involved in a powerful blend of thought leadership and on-the-ground consulting engagements that show how systemic changes requiring agreement among disparate parties are possible.
Embodying Innovation in Our Own Office
The RMI Innovation Center, located in Basalt, Colorado, is our 15,610 square-foot office building and state-of-the-art convening center. To advance our mission and propel the industry, we developed the Innovation Center to demonstrate how deep green buildings are designed, contracted, constructed, and occupied. The building achieves beyond-net-zero energy, generating more energy than it needs, through integrative whole system design. The building is intended to serve as a “living lab” with which we’ll share lessons learned so that it can be replicated. Therefore, RMI’s experience will serve as a practical model to inform thousands of buildings that would otherwise contribute significantly to the climate crisis.
Who’s Joining us to Make a Difference
Jeremy Grantham is a legendary investor, cofounder and chief investment strategist of GMO, and cofounder of The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. He has been a strong supporter of RMI's work.
We are currently in the race of our lives between the dire trends of a destabilizing climate and growing population on the one hand and the promise of innovations that may well save us on the other. We are pleased to support RMI in its urgent drive for systemic innovation in sustainability.
‐Jeremy Grantham, Legendary investor, Cofounder and Chief Investment Strategist of GMO, and Cofounder of The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment
Stories from the Field
The collaboration between WattTime and Microsoft was the first software to automatically detect the precise carbon emissions caused by using or generating electricity at any particular time and place in Europe, in real-time.
As RMI staff got ready to move into our new Innovation Center in Basalt, CO, Cara Carmichael described how our integrated project delivery (IPD) contracting process helped us achieve our goals with our beyond net-zero building.
After the Electricity Innovation Lab's (e-Lab's) first summit in 2016, Leia Guccione described the most exciting new ideas and new solutions e-Lab members are working on.