TRIBUNE. Is France going to miss out on its renewable energies?

To fight against global warming, the government intends to reduce the carbon impact of buildings (nearly 30% of CO emissions2 in France), via “environmental regulations” laying down a certain number of criteria for new constructions. Originally scheduled for July 2020, these rules have been pushed back to 1er January 2022, and some relaxations are renegotiated, provoking the ire of a collective of renewable energy industrialists, author of the article below. The regulation must be recorded this Thursday, March 25 by the Superior Council of Energy.

The future Environmental Regulation 2020 (“RE 2020”) recently experienced new arbitrations, announced on Tuesday February 18 by the Minister of Housing Emmanuelle Wargon. These are of concern to those in the renewable energy industry that we are. While the building becomes an intelligent brick of energy consumption and the network, technologies are developed and deployed by leading start-ups and French manufacturers. Equipment management, controlled water heaters, controlled air conditioning, intelligent electric heaters, solutions for on-board flexibility, including the management of dedicated batteries, solar allies are numerous. These solutions, associated with the self-consumption of electricity and heat, offer efficient and inexpensive alternatives for today’s homes, for a controlled carbon impact. They can also be a great opportunity for entire industries, such as those of electrical installers, to gain skills in subjects such as energy savings, renewable energy and smart homes.

If the lack of ambition of the current text in terms of solar self-consumption and energy flexibility is not corrected, tens of thousands of jobs, or even more, are endangered by a decision excluding entire areas. the panorama of carbon-free solutions. The usefulness and relevance of these innovative solutions have, however, already been recognized and emphasized in the work of the National Assembly, reported by MP Marjolaine Meynier-Millefert. By ignoring its areas of excellence, France is jeopardizing its innovative industries and start-ups, as well as its technological mastery by missing out on the subjects of the future such as self-consumption, flexibility and decarbonization. uses. On the other hand, the promotion of these innovations can only be beneficial for job creation, especially in a constantly developing sector.

As innovative and responsible industrial companies, we welcome the implementation of a fundamental tool for controlling the trajectory of greenhouse gases, in order to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, essential to keep global warming. under control. This powerful tool of life cycle analysis (LCA) in calculations, making it possible to quantify the real impacts of the use or production of an object, is certainly restrictive and complex, nevertheless the industrial players that we represent are prepared to deal with a high level of ambition if the rules are transparent, sensible and fair.

Innovation sacrificed

It is therefore very damaging that, in the very intense debates on guidelines for energy (electricity, gas, wood, etc.), many subjects of the future have been forgotten. Thus, photovoltaic self-consumption, which consists of installing photovoltaic solar panels on the roof whose energy will be consumed directly on site, is not sufficiently encouraged. However, many of the aforementioned innovative French solutions make it possible to achieve a very high level of self-consumption with limited investments. Well mastered by the French professional channels and popular with consumers, these solutions are also widely manufactured in France. Thus, many start-ups, SMEs, mid-cap companies and large groups are investing in research and development (R&D) and in cutting-edge factories, in the hope that these solutions can become standards in Europe, and in the world.

Today’s technologies are extremely high-performance systems, controlled according to habits and the weather, and, where appropriate, embedding electricity storage systems. These solutions can be comparatively less expensive to invest, and allow during construction to target the budget for insulation and installation of solar panels. The associated management and sometimes storage systems provide flexibility in consumption, the need for which will increase with the integration of renewable energies into our electricity networks. A solution like the Lancey radiator is a very good ally for self-consumption solar panels. The associated batteries make it possible to store solar electricity during the day and to restore it in the evening, when consumption on the network is high. R&D work is being carried out so that electric bicycle batteries can find a second life there, before being recycled, in a logic of circular economy.

As industrial players in these sectors, RE 2020 can endanger factories that are sometimes centuries old and inhibit the birth of new champions so much praised by politicians of all stripes. We are fighting to create an ambitious French industrial future, evolving within a demanding European environmental and social benchmark for the production of our products. Today there are many advantages in France and in Europe to meet the needs for flexibility and energy management. Start-ups developed in our territories are fighting to provide innovative solutions for the energy transition, integrating the constraints of the present and the future. France risks losing undeniable assets and sacrificing innovative industrial players if it lacks ambition in terms of self-consumption, flexibility of uses and decarbonization of uses.

The signatory collective includes: Lancey Energy Storage, Comwatt, Monabee, NED, Néomitis, Aura Digital Solaire, Lucioles, Dualsun, Zehnder Acova and the French Federation of Electrical and Energy Engineering Companies (FFIE).

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