Futuribles Journal n° 425

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Territoires, réseaux

Ecological Transition in France: What about Geothermal Energy?


In a notice published in early 2018, the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council warned that France was not “on the right path to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by three-quarters… by 2050.” Despite ambitious objectives and powerful speeches, the practical implementation of the law on energy transition is not happening fast enough. But has France made the right decisions in this area? Reading this article by Jacques Varet, there are clearly grounds to ask the question, with Varet showing, as he does, the assets that France possesses in terms of geothermal energy. This latter is a source of renewable energy quite widely available and useable for meeting the energy demand associated with the building sector, but one that has seen (too) little investment.

This article describes the principle of geothermal energy and the advantages of using this renewable source, particularly to meet space-heating needs (or, indeed, to power air-conditioning and hot water production), the chief category of energy consumption in France. It emphasizes how attractive this mode of energy production is and how easy it is to distribute, if only in new-build and multiple-dwelling housing, so long as speeches filled with good intentions ultimately harden into proactive policy measures.

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