Futuribles Journal n° 403

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

What Trajectory for Energy Transition? The Genealogy of the Energy Transition Law and its Positioning with regard to Pre-existing Scenarios


The many lively debates that preceded –and still fuel– discussion of the “Energy Transition and Green Growth” bill attest to the importance of that law for many French citizens and economic actors. Without going back over the debate on the feasibility or realism of the law’s objectives, to which Futuribles contributed through its website in late September, it is possible to put these matters into some perspective, as Patrick Criqui does here, by reminding us of the genealogy of the bill and the various future scenarios that were developed during the French National Debate on Energy Transition of 2013 before the bill passed into law.

Criqui reminds us of the possible scenarios discussed, grouped as they were around four major energy trajectories: “Energy-saving”, “Efficiency”, “Diversity” and “Decarbonization”. Among these, the most important sources of divergence were over the level of reduction of energy consumption by 2050 and the relative parts to be played by nuclear power and renewable energies. Basing himself on the target figures included in the bill, Patrick Criqui identifies the image of the future towards which, on the face of it, the law points –namely, the “Efficiency” trajectory– even if, as he very rightly emphasizes, its implementation will definitely be a dynamic affair, incorporating the various adaptations that might turn out to be necessary between now and 2050.

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