The energy transition has reached the French countryside

The Lorraine countrisde in summerWhile I was away for a few days in the Lorraine village where my mom’s family comes from, I noticed a few hints that the energy transition is already taking place and has reached even this quite secluded place.

The first one was both solar thermal and photovoltaic panels sprouting on roofs. While I counted a handful in a few streets, the mayor assured me that around eight were already installed and more would be in the next months.

Only a few years ago there were only one installation and I have been quite impressed by how rapidly they appeared on many different roofs.

The second hint was the electric car of the postal service delivery. La Poste started as early as 2011 to equip itself with electric vehicles and as many as 10,000 will be introduced by 2015. Knowing each car prevents over three tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, this is quite welcomed.

The last element was brought by my two uncles, who are farmers in the village, as they told me that a methanisation plant could soon be built in the vicinity. There are currently less than a hundred of such biogas plants in France, to be compared to over 9,000 in neighboring Germany.

There, to Wikipedia, ” In 2010, the total installed electrical capacity of these power plants was 2,291 MW. The electricity supply was approximately 12.8 TWh, which is 12.6% of the total generated renewable electricity. “

This shows how methanisation could grow in the French countryside in coming years. With other technologies, such as firewood – see a previous Cleantechies article on that topic – one can see the energy transition has reached the French countryside and that it is only the beginning.

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