Implementing France’s national policy on the rational use of energy is one of ADEME’s key missions. Public authorities have vigorously promoted the policy to help France on its way to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against climate change.
- Developing energy efficiency and renewable energy sources
The energy bill proposes to reduce France’s energy intensity (i.e. the ratio of energy consumption to GDP) by 2% each year until 2015, and then by 2.5% until 2030.
This involves promoting the national energy efficiency policy, which, since the first oil slump, has enabled France to save nearly 15 million TOE (tonnes of oil equivalent). By promoting the policy, the agency hopes to tackle three key issues:
- The fight against climate change
For two centuries, the emissions of certain pollutant gases, generated by human activities, have intensified the natural greenhouse effect, causing the Earth’s surface temperature to rise. This phenomenon risks significantly affecting the world’s climate and ecosystems.
The international community is taking action to limit the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and has committed to halving global emissions by 2050.
- The protection of resources
France is now extremely dependent on imported fossil fuels, which are by no means an unlimited resource. According to some experts, if we continue to consume energy at current levels, oil could run out in only 40 years’ time! Added to this is the risk of soaring oil prices, which would in turn severely impede economic competitiveness.
- The conservation of our health and the environment
The production and consumption of energy has not only global consequences on the greenhouse effect but also an impact on the local environment. Our understanding of the harm that energy consumption causes to air quality and our health in addition to the countryside and ecosystems is gradually improving.
The major challenges set within the scope of France’s energy policy are to manage energy demand, extend our range of technological sources of production and supply, develop research in the energy sector, and guarantee the provision of energy transportation and storage infrastructures adapted to consumption requirements. ADEME’s activities are in line with France’s national policy, and cover two additional objectives :
- To encourage the public and socio-economic players to save energy, particularly in sectors that consume high quantities of energy on a daily basis (households, offices, shops and transport).
- To promote renewable energy sources (biomass, solar power, geothermal energy and heat pumps).
The agency operates in various ways :
- By supporting research programmes on clean, economical transport systems (electric vehicles, biomass fuels, particulate filters and so on), energy efficiency of buildings (including heating, hot water, cooling, ventilation and lighting systems) and new energy technologies.
- By providing financial and technical assistance for feasibility studies that enable developers to deploy more efficient energy solutions.
- By promoting the implementation of illustrative, motivational operations regarding the efficient use of energy, making these operations known.
- By giving the general public specific information on existing technologies (white goods labelled “low consumption”, energy-efficient boilers, individual solar-powered water heaters, heat pumps, insulation techniques, room thermostats and “green” tires and fuels) and energy-saving best practices via our Energy Info Points (Espaces Info’Energie). The agency recently launched a three-year campaign – dubbed “There's no time to lose - things are heating up” – to rally public support on the issue of saving energy.
- Who are ADEME's partners ?
ADEME’s activities in the energy field mainly target national and regional cooperative efforts. The agency provides its expertise, campaigning resources and funding to various partners, including :
- Local authorities.
- Government bodies, such as the technical departments of the supervisory ministries.
- Industry professionals (providers and producers of energy, energy service companies, equipment manufacturers and installers etc.).
- Public and private research bodies.
- Trade organizations, such as France’s building-sector federation and various other trade organizations.
- Large developers, such as the HLM Office.
- Certification bodies (AFNOR, QUALITEL and so on).
- Consumer associations.
| A new tool : energy saving certificates
To raise awareness among all sectors of civil society and encourage a sense of responsibility, French law has recently introduced a new tool : energy saving certificates.
The principle ?
The government compels energy providers (electricity, gas, LPG, oil, for heating and cooling systems) like EDF and Gaz de France to reduce energy consumption over a given period and to make energy savings via their customers.
Providers are free to decide what type of action to implement in pursuit of this objective : informing customers on how they can reduce their energy consumption, running promotions in association with equipment retailers or the like.
If the set targets are met in time, providers will receive certificates as an attestation of the total savings achieved. On the other hand, providers will be fined by the treasury if they fail to meet their targets.
- Did you know ?
The primary pollutants generated by the combustion of fossil fuels are :
- Carbon dioxide.
- Products of incomplete combustion : carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, soot and particles.
- Sulphur dioxide, generated by sulphur already present in the fuel.
- Nitrogen oxide, produced through the combination of nitrogen and oxygen in the air when a certain temperature is reached.
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