Art Rosenfeld, 'godfather' of energy efficiency, dies at 90

February 9, 2017
This undated photo provided by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab shows physicist Dr. Arthur Rosenfeld at ceremonial launch of the ITRI-Rosenfeld Fellowship in Berkeley, Calif. Rosenfeld, spearheading breakthroughs in reduced energy for lighting, refrigerators, televisions and other electronics while working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has died at age 90. Rosenfeld died Jan. 27, 2017, at his home in Berkeley, said Lawrence Berkeley National Lab spokeswoman Julie Chao. (Roy Kaltschmidt/Lawrence Berkeley National Lab via AP)

Physicist Arthur Rosenfeld, who spearheaded breakthroughs in energy efficiency for lighting, refrigerators, televisions and other electronics while working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has died. He was 90.

Rosenfeld died Jan. 27 at his home in Berkeley, said Lawrence Berkeley National Lab spokeswoman Julie Chao.

Rosenfeld was known to his colleagues as California's "godfather" of , a field he is credited with creating.

A native of Alabama, he was known for his detailed calculations, but also for his talent in translating the results into terms that could be easily understood.

A particle physicist, he moved to Berkeley in the 1950s to work in the particle physics group of Luis Alvarez, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1968.

A turning point in his career came in 1973 when the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries declared an oil embargo. Knowing he would have to wait in a long line the next day to buy gas, he decided to calculate how much energy could be saved by turning off unused lights.

"After 20 minutes of uncovering light switches (and saving 100 gallons for the weekend), I decided that UC Berkeley and its Radiation Laboratory should do something about conservation," he wrote in a 1999 autobiography of his career, "The Art of Energy Efficiency."

He received numerous awards and honors, including the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2011—the nation's highest honor for technological achievement—for the development of energy efficient building technologies.

This undated photo provided by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab shows physicist Arthur Rosenfeld in his office in Berkeley, Calif. Rosenfeld, spearheading breakthroughs in reduced energy for lighting, refrigerators, televisions and other electronics while working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has died at age 90. Rosenfeld died Jan. 27, 2017, at his home in Berkeley, said Lawrence Berkeley National Lab spokeswoman Julie Chao. (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab vua AP)

Gov. Jerry Brown said that during his first term as governor in 1975, Rosenfeld told him that simply by requiring more efficient refrigerators, California could save as much energy as would be produced by the then-proposed Sundesert Nuclear Power plant.

"We adopted Art's refrigerator standards and many others, did not build the power plant and moved the country to greater energy efficiency," Brown said in a statement after Rosenfeld's death was announced.

Explore further: 'The Rosenfeld' named after California's godfather of energy efficiency

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8 comments

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gkam
1 / 5 (7) Feb 09, 2017
In 1980, Brown made the utilities hire folk like me who had experience in engineering and industry and other specialties to help put together and operate programs to make our customers more efficient.

We did very complete energy analyses of all their usage, recommended remedial actions with estimated payback periods, and helped them get into government and utility assistance programs.

That gave the utility time to put online more generation and made the predictions of the book "Overload", (written by the father of a PG&E engineer, and friend of mine) into a "never mind".
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2017
Because of his efforts and ours, we have finally arrived at this state:

http://www.utilit.../435825/

We can overcome the energy poverty which springs from expensive and dirty centralized power by adopting efficient lifestyles and generate some of our own energy.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2017
In 1980, Brown made the utilities hire folk like me who had experience in engineering and industry and other specialties to help put together and operate programs to make our customers more efficient
-And in the 90s, the advent of HR depts and their diligent checking of experience and education claims meant that folk like you could never get a job 'in the business' again.

And so the toll stopped at 12-14 jobs. Correct? This is what george kamburoff has told us about himself at least.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2017
What many do not appreciate is the decoupling of production and energy. That means we are not using more, but less to light our homes, drove our cars, and make our plastic crap.

That's huge. It also shows us how to keep up the progress. And since more and more of us are making our own electricity, it just gets better.
Eikka
not rated yet Feb 17, 2017
Because of his efforts and ours, we have finally arrived at this state:

http://www.utilit.../435825/

We can overcome the energy poverty which springs from expensive and dirty centralized power by adopting efficient lifestyles and generate some of our own energy.


The article:
In particular, the energy efficiency measures showed that "The US has truly 'decoupled' economic growth from energy demand."


This is because the US has truly decoupled the economy from any productive activity. 80% of the workforce is in "services", and the GDP is measuring things like the stock market growth rather than increase in wealth and resources. Of course you use less energy pushing PDF documents around than maintaining bridges and dams.

It's the 80's neoliberal dream again: "the economy can grow infinitely" - of course, when you're just moving money around and incurring more and more debt.
Eikka
3 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2017
What many do not appreciate is the decoupling of production and energy. That means we are not using more, but less


It doesn't.

It means you're doing less with less. "Production", as in actual productive jobs where people make and refine the goods that everyone needs and uses have been down year after year:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-a3xQYqX2bYo/UrM7zlGcpYI/AAAAAAAADM8/xW9dyyHbB28/s1600/GDP2.jpg

Public construction is down, agriculture is down, manufacturing is down - all the sectors that actually do something rather than just try to sell you shit that other people produce are down.

So how come finances and services are making more when other people are making less? That's because the prices have gone up - you're now paying more for energy, you're paying more for a simple lightbulb because it has to be "energy efficient" which simply means some businessman gets to buy a new yacht and the energy is waste there instead.
Eikka
2 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2017
The primary energy consumption in the US is about 81,800 kWh per person per year, and that includes everything, and the GDP per capita is about $56,115 which means every dollar on the market costs 1.46 kWh on average.

And that's a huge amount. Every dollar in your pocket represents a coffee cup of gasoline lit on fire, yet it's exactly because a cup of gasoline doesn't cost you a dollar that you can afford to do it, over and over.

Not many people understand or appreciate that.
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Feb 17, 2017
"Public construction is down, agriculture is down, manufacturing is down"
---------------------------

Of course it is, a victim of Mitch MConnell's need to let Obama have NO successes, no transportation bill, no infrastructure bill, no jobs bill.

Hate did that.

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