Source: ENGIE

According to the results of a recent survey, 50% of French households plan to fit solar panels to help meet their energy needs. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA),

this is a long-term trend which suggests that photovoltaic power could generate one-third of urban electricity by 2050.

Meeting one-third of urban electricity demand with solar power by 2050: that’s the prospect held out by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its annual Energy Technology Perspectives review.

The target is a realistic one, but will require significant investment by local authorities, companies and private individuals.

Cities are generating increasing levels of energy

With the combined demand of buildings, transit systems and even infrastructures, cities are likely to account for two-thirds of global energy consumption by 2050. So the challenge to supply that energy is very substantial. The IEA makes clear that addressing these future needs and preventing any increase in CO2 emissions will require a change of public policy. A package of measures, such as greater subsidies, higher investment and the roll-out and promotion of clean transportation options, must be introduced simultaneously to prepare our major urban centers for using an increasingly high proportion of green energy.

Involving consumers

Local authorities are not the only ones to be investing in promoting the energy transition. As the price of photovoltaic panels comes down, more and more French households are fitting them. Between 8,000 and 10,000 people** do precisely that every year, and embrace the idea of generating their own solar power. It’s an investment that pays off, because estimates suggest that domestic installations pay for themselves within ten years**. According to survey results published by ENERPLAN, the French Solar Energy Industry Federation, half the French population are now ready to generate their own solar power.

OpinionWay survey for the French Solar Energy Industry Federation ENERPLAN.

** RTL: “Half the French population ready to invest in solar energy”, May 2016.

*** Isabelle Kocher: “Towards a new energy mix”, June 1, 2016.