The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium

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On Friday, March 28th, I attended Mr. Amory Lovins’ keynote address at the Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium hosted by the Thayer School of Engineering. This event was organized to discuss the past, present, and future of nuclear energy— a topic that has gained more relevance with the United States’ search for energy independence and the world’s reactions after the Fukushima incident three years ago. 

I was excited to hear Mr. Amory Lovins, Cofounder and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute because we had learned in class that he was one of the leading voices in the nuclear energy discussion. I expected him to focus more of his presentation on the negative aspects of nuclear energy. Therefore it was a good surprise to hear him talking more about solutions to nuclear energy rather than just expressing his opinions. Lovins condensed his solution for an ideal energy portfolio into a “trifecta between energy efficiency, renewables, and cogeneration."

The energy efficiency component of the trifecta particularly resonated with me because I just finished an internship in Costa Rica’s only energy efficiency company during the winter. While I had already seen real potential in this company, I felt revalidated when a world energy expert placed energy efficiency as a necessity in order to meet the world’s energy demand. I believe the company I interned for holds key insight when solving this demand because they have tropicalized a successful American business model of energy service/energy efficiency companies in order to meet Costa Rica’s needs, which can then be applied to other developing countries. Hopefully, the world will move towards this trend— with a small Costa Rican company at the forefront— and, as Amory Lovins said, “stop underestimating energy efficiency and invest more in renewable energy research."

--Annelise Sauter Ortiz '16, Spring 2014 MLDP Participant

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences