J. Phys. IV France 09 (1999) Pr3-3-Pr3-7
Solar power : Prospects and concerns for sustainable developmentB. Dessus and F. Pharabod
CNRS, Ecodev, 1 rue du Cerf, 92195 Meudon, France
Prospective studies generally evaluate the contribution of solar energy to the world energy mix in the range of hundreds of Mtoe. Considering the actual mature solar technologies, this figure leads to a potential of hundreds of solar power plants at the horizon 2020. Development of such a programme requires RD&D to reduce costs and elaborate new systems. It requires also incentives to favour the initial market penetration in a context of low prices of energy. Along with some other technologies, solar power has the potential to mitigate the CO2 problem and therefore appears as a competitor in the international environment protection system. Several economic tools are available or under discussion to help financing the "incremental cost" of development projects in developing countries which are less emitting than current practices. The concept of "activities implemented jointly" can foster the partnerships for both climate and development, and finally give support to solar energy. As a non polluting and long lasting technology, solar thermal power appears as a potential contributor to sustainable development. Nevertheless, in the context of hard competition for financing priorities, it has to prove that it is really good for economic development and that developing countries can afford it.
© EDP Sciences 1999