The French renewable energy policy

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renewable energy policy in France.

Renewable energy has an essential place in the vis-à-vis climate change strategy with the mastery of energy, nuclear power and the capture / sequestration. The ambition of emission reduction targets by 4 or 5 2050 to horizon contained in the French sustainable development strategy involves mobilizing all possible sources and development with low energy. The Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development Serge Lepeltier has made climate change one of his priorities. The Kyoto Protocol and commitments is indeed a stage, certainly necessary but far from sufficient.
France welcomes Tony Blair has put the climate issue on the agenda of G8. Our country can only support his approach that plays a key role in technological innovation. President Jacques Chirac affirmed his hope that the summit in Gleneagles G8, allows to re-engage the United States on this issue which is vital to the future of our planet and that we know to be creative to convince, especially by technology transfer, emerging countries to make sustainable energy choices that will fight against global warming without hindering economic growth.

The context of sustainable development means in effect to minimize the economic and social costs of changes made production and consumption necessary to reduce our emissions.

Two main tracks can reduce these costs:
- The technology that allows a more efficient outcome at lower cost
- Research opportunities in economic and jobs, new services and new products.
The exchange day focused on renewable energy. Before draw operational conclusions, allow me to put into perspective some issues identified during this work.

Renewables have characteristics that differentiate them from conventional energy: they are diffuse and intermittent. In fact the use of energy requires to meet 3 issues where? when? and how ? The petroleum industrial easily answered these questions in transport, storage and flexibility of use. This period is over.

Answering these questions requires a closer integration of ENR in consumer systems. They are located far from the side of management of demand than supply.

How to build positive energy buildings without including insulation systems, storage and mobilization of contributions that is to say, solar collectors? For renewable energy systems (wind, tidal ...) these questions nevertheless arise to lesser degrees.

The small size of the facilities also raises transaction problems among all actors that are necessary for their implementation. centralized energy system decisions are easier than in a decentralized system. We realize today these difficulties in the deployment of wind power in France.

The significant development of renewable energy therefore poses us new problems by their very nature. But it also raises the issue of innovation. Indeed it is in most time of new technologies, in childhood, to do emerge.

Two piloting innovation are generally opposed the push and pull, (we do not use French in terms of push and pull). The push technologies are driven by the public offering and planning by the state for research and deployment, was the case of nuclear power in France. The pull approach relies on the demand and the market and instead relies on the private sector.

The hybrid renewable energy side, as I mentioned earlier, is also found here. This is the problem of governance that is laid. Public power is not in a position to do it herself, but she seeks to stimulate the private sector and various stakeholders, leveraging new tools, market tools. We must develop an economic approach ensuring business profitability, but also the involvement of various trades, more complex chain of decision including local acceptance process.
We are right in the mechanism described by the sociology of innovation. who believes that successful innovation depends more on the construction of a "techno-economic converged network" that the only technical performance or rational planning.

These few somewhat theoretical reflections lead us to ask the following questions:

- What are the actors whose intervention is necessary for the deployment of renewable energy?
- What new skills they need to master?
- What mechanisms ensure their joint intervention and the technical and economic transactions?
The instruments we qe countries implement, thus closer to the market, but none are without weakness:
- The bidding procedures for these areas appear complex yet highly scalable, and easily take into account certain quality criteria.
- The rates of preferential redemptions create an annuity to the first incoming and risks to be low incentive for innovation.
- The REC certificates have prices fluctuating certificates and therefore induce economic risks for the entrepreneur.

The instruments of any kind, when applied uniformly promote the most advanced techniques, but it is not necessarily easy ones that will be most useful in the future; the technological lock risk is not absent.

The issue of R & D is key since most industries are not yet profitable and therefore demand further R & D.

Are we sure that certain courses do not only matured annuities because of the proposed mechanisms?
Are we sure that all approaches are explored, evaluated?
The answer is obviously not for ocean energy, photovoltaic and biomass ..
But is not it also the case for wind who nevertheless appears as a mature technology? Other concepts than those deployed are they not also see more promising?
How to foster long-term the most promising technologies?
The node is set up deployment instruments is therefore favorable to R & D and innovation diffusion.

Some new instruments are proposed in this direction: a venture capital fund in the UK.

The "Agency for Industrial Innovation" in France that will stand on issues such as clean cars, fuel cells and biotechnology. This forum will bring together researchers, manufacturers together to identify programs.
These approaches are probably related to our respective cultures, but we have much to learn from each other? We converge obviously to identify the same needs: a private alliance / international public and reasoning.

It's also a bit this post Kyoto: do R & D in partnership, cooperation both upstream and downstream technologies on the transfer and dissemination.

We can identify cooperation subjects such as marine energy or energy efficiency by implementing new processes of private-public forum, between France and the United Kingdom, so as to release a vision and common methodology. The idea is therefore to mobilize companies, countries, NGOs and local authorities.

But work does not exclude bilateral multilateral. Some international organizations are critical as the International Energy Agency or the Framework Convention for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.

Source: Concluding Statement by Christian Brodhag, the Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development at the Franco-British seminar in January 12 2005 on Renewable Energy


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