RMI In Brief

News From Around the Institute

RMI’s Kaitlyn Bunker (left) accepting the Distinguished New Engineer award from the Society of Women Engineers.


Congratulations to RMI’s own Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D., who was awarded Distinguished New Engineer by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Region i (the square root of -1). Kaitlyn, a manager at RMI, won the award for demonstrating outstanding technical performance as well as leadership in professional organizations and the community in the first 10 years of her career. We applaud Kaitlyn’s achievement, as well as the mission of SWE, which includes stimulating women to achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders.


“A truly sweeping report on the future of vehicles” is how the Washington Post described Peak Car Ownership: The Market Opportunity of Electric Automated Mobility Services, RMI’s recently published report about what to expect as the United States moves away from the traditional model of car ownership, to one where mobility is provided as a service by electric autonomous vehicles. The research describes how the deployment of electric mobility services, and their gradual takeover of the market, will disrupt oil companies, carmakers, and other auto industry incumbents. The widely cited report was also referenced in the Huffington Post, Europe’s Energy Post, Renew Economy, Slate.com, Curbed.com, and other outlets.


The Sunshine for Mines team was in Toronto at the end of 2016 for the Energy & Mines World Congress on renewables in mining. During the congress, RMI presented a best-in-class award to mining group Gold Fields, for the work we have done together to serve the energy load of its South Deep gold mine in South Africa by integrating 40 MW of solar photovoltaics and 7.5 MWh of battery storage. Gold Fields is an industry leader, producing about 2 million ounces of gold per year, and an important validator for renewable energy in the mining sector, which represents 1.25 percent of the world’s total energy consumption.


We are excited to announce that the RMI Innovation Center — our beyond net-zero energy office and convening center in Basalt, Colorado — became Petal Certified and Net-Zero Energy Certified through the Living Building Challenge (LBC). All Living Building Challenge projects have a 12-month performance period, and are audited by a third party before they can receive certification. “RMI is thrilled to achieve LBC Petal certification. It validates our efforts to create a model for design, construction, contracting, and operation for net-zero energy buildings,” said Cara Carmichael, RMI project manager.


RMI has officially launched an exciting project we’ve been working on for a while, the Energy Web Foundation (EWF). A joint venture between RMI and Grid Singularity, EWF aims to unleash the potential of blockchain technology in the energy sector. Blockchain technology — the technology underpinning the bitcoin virtual currency — has the potential to play a significant, potentially game-changing role in the global electricity system’s transition to a more secure, resilient, cost-effective, and low-carbon grid. To achieve this goal, EWF focuses on defining blockchain use cases, building a blockchain platform for the energy sector, incubating an ecosystem of stakeholders, and educating the public. EWF is supported by 10 industry-leading affiliates located in nine countries, including Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Tokyo Electric Power, and Sempra Energy. We’re also continuing to hold advanced discussions with other companies interested in joining, so we expect the EWF family to grow over time.

Learn more about Rocky Mountain Institute on our website: www.rmi.org

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