Bruce Gifford/Getty Images

Suffisamment d’espace pour les énergies renouvelables ?

LONDRES – Un appel d’offres a eu lieu cet été au Chili dans le domaine de l’approvisionnement électrique. L’enchère a été remportée par des développeurs de projets éoliens, qui ont promis de fournir de l’électricité à un tarif de 0,04 $ par kilowatt-heure, ainsi que par des développeurs de projets solaires annonçant un prix de 0,03 $ par kWh, tarifs qui l’emportent aisément sur ceux de la concurrence opérant dans le domaine des combustibles fossiles. Ce succès illustre une baisse considérable des coûts, qui en six ans ont chuté d’environ 70 % pour l’énergie solaire, et de plus de 30 % pour l’éolien. Et il faut clairement s’attendre à de nouvelles baisses.

Bien que vent et soleil ne soient évidemment pas toujours au rendez-vous, ces problèmes d’intermittence sont de moins en moins difficiles à résoudre, puisque le coût des batteries et autres dispositifs de stockage de l’énergie diminue progressivement, et dans la mesure où les systèmes intelligents de mesure et de contrôle offrent la possibilité de modifier le timing d’une partie de la demande en électricité. Dans 20 ans, c’est désormais une certitude, de nombreux pays pourront s’approvisionner en électricité à partir de sources renouvelables, pour un prix tout à fait abordable.

Certes, la mise en place de parcs solaires et éoliens nécessite de larges espaces terrestres. Mais à l’échelle planétaire, ces espaces ne manquent pas.

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