Technology

What is the role of new technologies in energy production and storage?

Before discussing the new production and storage technologies and answering the various questions asked, let us remember that the issues are different depending on whether it is a question of meeting industrial, housing or transport needs.

Energy production and issue.

Energy needs will evolve and require the implementation of new means of conversion, in particular for electricity which must be produced on site. But we can also imagine partially satisfying transport needs by developing the uses of electricity in partially or totally electric propulsion vehicles, which would then introduce a coupling between electricity production needs and transport demand. This example is intended to highlight the realities and the complexity of the problem of energy production if we wish to project ourselves into the future.

Operate internal combustion engines.

Liquid fuels can be used to produce electricity, hot water (currently bottled gas is used for this purpose) or to operate internal combustion engines in land transport. But it is for transport uses that they are undoubtedly the most strategic because they offer incomparable performance in terms of specific energy (one kg of carbonaceous liquid fuel has an energy value of around 10 kWh, whereas the best current electrochemical accumulators store about 100 times less energy per unit mass). Given the technical resources, we can imagine a local production of biofuels whose uses would remain to be determined, in this case the conversion of these fuels is carried out with the same devices (flame power plants,

How are technologies for producing energy?

In addition, the technologies for producing energy, from the various existing energy resources, are very numerous. This is why we will focus more particularly on those exploiting the resources available and/or economically accessible in N.-C.For this, we propose to establish links between production (and storage) technologies, available resources (or supposed ones because not all inventories have been made) and needs.Of course, energy control, dealt with in the first part, generally constitutes the priority before any development of new production technologies because, with identical satisfaction of needs, it is often less expensive to save one kWh than to produce one kWh. additional. Saving energy (through technology or behaviour) generally costs less than investing in new means of production. This must be constantly kept in mind by those responsible. Finally, it should be pointed out that certain production technologies, such as solar water heaters, are sometimes placed in the category of technologies allowing energy saving. There will therefore be inevitable interactions between these two parties.

Particularly important Of technology

Finally, it seems useful to us to specify that the notion of conversion efficiency is particularly important when exploiting non-renewable and polluting resources but that it is much less important when it comes to renewable resources such as the sun. , wind or swell, the consequences of low efficiency generally resulting in a simple increase in the dimensions of the conversion systems. The situation is significantly different in the case of cultivated biomass which requires large areas. This can be a problem when space is constrained. In general, the optimum efficiency of renewable resource conversion systems is that which minimises, over the entire life cycle, the cost price and/or the environmental costs.

As a reminder, in 2008 primary energy consumption in N.-C. did not reach 1 Mtep and the electricity produced represented a little less than 2 TWh (or 2,000 GWh), one third of which was for public distribution. It should also be noted that the electricity network of Grande Terre is generally recent and in good condition and that its extension is still in progress.

Energy resources and exploitable potential

Energy resources are probably still insufficiently assessed, but some orders of magnitude can be given. The exploitable potential is even more uncertain because it is generally associated with land issues. These data will be associated with the possible technologies in the rest of this chapter.To give a first order of magnitude, taking into account an average annual solar radiation of about 2000 kW/m² with a fairly low seasonal variability (5 to 8 kWh/m²/day), we obtain a gross annual energy radiated to the ground around 3 Gtep (over 19,000 km²), i.e. 3,000 times the 2007 primary energy consumption of all N.-C. Of course, it is not possible to exploit all of this resource, but the objective is to show its extent without even taking into account the maritime zones.

How are the technologies for converting this free resource into a form of exploitable?

Note that this solar energy can be used to produce electricity (different possible principles), heat (as is the case in solar water heaters) or even fuels, via biomass for example.Of course, the technologies for converting this free resource into a form of exploitable final energy are still expensive, but their price will only drop in the future compared to that of fossil fuels which, on the contrary, will only increase.

In France, about 20 m² of roof per inhabitant is accessible. Assuming the same surface in N.-C. and considering that each m² of roof is equipped with photovoltaic collectors, we would obtain a total annual productivity of around 600 GWh, i.e. the order of magnitude of the current electricity consumption of public distribution, for an investment of around 300 billion CFP francs (€2.3 billion) (calculations made on the basis of 230,000 inhabitants, 1,400 annual equivalent full power hours and with a cost per watt peak installed equal to €5). Of course, there is no question of satisfying all needs with such a solution, but it shows the enormous potential of renewable resources and solar radiation in particular, in this case, without occupying additional floor space.

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