After a long period of abundant energy and very favorable electricity prices, we are currently experiencing the negative effects (admittedly amplified by the war in Ukraine) on purchasing power, on our industries and on our way of life that can cause a weakened electrical mix.
Emmanuel Macron seems to have understood the serious risks posed to France by the multiannual energy program (PPE) 2019-2023. A new PPE will therefore be submitted to the Assembly in the first half of 2023.
To prepare for it, the Electricity Transmission Network (RTE), manager of the public high-voltage electricity transmission network, has been tasked with developing several scenarios, all of which will allow us to achieve a completely carbon-free mix of all our energies ( currently supplied by electricity, but also fuels, gas, etc.) in 2050. A summary of this work was published on February 16 by RTE, under the title “Energy Futures 2050”.
The upheavals in our energy sources envisaged by all of RTE’s scenarios are enormous, unparalleled in our history or in that of any other developed country. For such changes, 2050 is tomorrow.
930 TWh in 2050, compared to 1,600 TWh in 2019
It is therefore legitimate and necessary to ask three fundamental questions now: Are we at risk of an energy shortage in 2050? Will our energy sovereignty be assured? Are the proposed scenarios technologically safe?
All RTE scenarios are based on French consumption, all energies combined, of 930 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2050, compared to 1,600 TWh in 2019. For comparison, 930 TWh was French consumption in 1970, i.e. eighty years before 2050, with then 16 million fewer inhabitants than today and a French economy four times “smaller”.
A continuation of past trends actually leads to a consumption of approximately 2,200 TWh in 2050. It is therefore a real reduction of nearly 60% of our total energy consumption which is forecast, i.e. an overall efficiency gain of 3% each year from 2022 to 2050…
Admittedly, you have to be very ambitious and very determined, but what happens if the country falls behind in this enormous program of progress in efficiency?
No margin of safety
France will have been largely electrified (transport, heating, industry, etc.) with no more possible recourse to other energies. There is therefore a considerable risk that the country will then run out of electricity. Against all caution, RTE retains no safety margin in the production of its energy mix scenarios. This bias is closer to Russian roulette than to responsible planning!
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