The energy transition: now and in the future

Enough of the pessimism !

An energy transition – a shift towards a new, more frugal, more electric world that produces less CO2 – is key to addressing climate and environmental challenges. However, we need to invest heavily in research and innovation to successfully make the change (1, 2). A move towards low-carbon transport, housing and manufacturing – the sectors that produce the most CO2 in France – is fully dependent on a balanced expansion of renewable (solar and wind) energy, increased use of biomass and continued support of nuclear energy. Renewable energy is intermittent and requires the development of large-scale energy storage technologies, such as batteries and hydrogen. Biofuel and biogas production is a maturing industry. Lastly, nuclear energy can be a viable source of low-carbon energy, provided that new reactors are built and research into nuclear energy of the future (Generation IV reactors) and waste management continues. It is not of decrees but rather scientific discoveries, and technological and industrial progress that energy revolutions are born.

By Marc Fontecave
Laboratoire de Chimie des processus Biologiques, Collège de France, 11 Place Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

(1) Marc Fontecave. “Halte au catastrophisme ! Les vérités de la transition énergétique”. Flammarion, 2020.
(2) Conference by Professeur Marc Fontecave(video in French)