hoover dam Manav Gupta/Flickr

Quelle pénurie énergétique ?

MARTIGNY, SUISSE – S’il était possible de capter et d’utiliser l’énergie de seulement deux minutes des rayons du soleil qui réchauffent la planète, ce serait suffisant pour fournir de l’énergie aux véhicules, pour éclairer et chauffer les bâtiments et assurer tous les besoins en électricité pendant une année entière. En termes simples, l’humanité ne subit pas vraiment les effets d’une pénurie d’énergie, mais fait plutôt face à des difficultés techniques pour la capter et la distribuer aux usagers. Or une des meilleures façons pour régler ce problème est d’investir dans des moyens plus efficaces pour l’emmagasiner.

Bon nombre des problèmes du monde contemporain sont attribuables à l’utilisation d’énergie, que ce soit les conflits tournant autour de l’approvisionnement du pétrole, les problèmes préoccupants des émissions de gaz à effet de serre, les pertes d’efficacité et de production découlant de pénuries d’énergie et de pannes de courant. Il y a plus de 1,3 milliard de personnes dans le monde qui n’ont pas d’électricité ; et près de 2,6 milliards qui ne disposent pas d’appareils modernes de cuisine. Plus de 95 % de ces personnes vivent en Afrique subsaharienne ou dans les pays en développement de l’Asie, et 84 % d’entre eux habitent en région rurale.

Ainsi, lors de la campagne électorale récente pour la présidence du Nigeria, une femme interrogée sur les résultats qu’elle voulait voir les candidats réaliser, a donné une réponse qui tenait en un mot : « lumière ». L’éclairage électrique, un service de base, lui permettrait de continuer à travailler le soir et à ses enfants d’étudier.

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