While the soaring price of oil is boosting the debate on the development of renewable energy, the French government has just announced its "biofuels plan", which should come into force early 2005. Professionals in these sectors, however, did not obtain the tax and regulatory measures they requested.
The price of a barrel of oil, which rose to 45 dollars in August, may not have a direct effect on investment in renewable energy, but at least energy dependency situation in which most Western countries find themselves. The depletion of deposits in the North Sea, Canada and Mexico may also aggravate this oil dependence, which will eventually come mainly from geopolitically unstable areas - Middle East, Caucasus, Central Asia and Gulf of Guinea-. These two factors combined could lead to new price spikes in the next 50, and even countries like France, which chose the nuclear option, would be affected. Hence the important role that can be played by renewable energies, which currently remain limited to 10% of energy consumption in Europe, but which should reach 21% by 2010 according to the regulations in force. Biofuels - ethanol, methanol and biodiesel - are expected to move from 2% to 2005 to 5,75% to 2010. In France, they are currently incorporated at only 1% in gasoline and diesel, despite 180 million euros of tax incentives per year. Professionals in these sectors are eagerly awaiting other tax and regulatory measures, but the government has remained silent on this issue. The August 19, President Chirac himself stressed "the very great importance he attaches to the development of bioenergy for agricultural, environmental and energy reasons" and asked the government "to accelerate the development and dissemination of biofuels "By measures applied" from the 1er next January ".
environmental and economic benefits
The benefits of bioenergy are both economic and ecological. In countries such as the United States or Brazil, which increase their production capacity by almost 30% per year, they save 1,1 million tons of oil every year, ie about 2,5 to 3 billion euros , while they also avoid the emission of 16 millions of tons of carbon dioxide ... Transport is the main source of polluting emissions in the air (it represents 50% of the total consumption of oil), we understand the the challenge now is to make the production of biofuels competitive with that of fossil fuels. "It is urgent that the government takes its provisions, otherwise France will fall behind, said Pierre Cuypers, president of the president of the Association for the development of agricultural fuels (Adeca) and the European Committee for biofuels. When it takes a month in the United States to build a production unit of one million tons of bioethanol, two years are needed in France. The actors in the sector are asking for a fiscal and regulatory framework to double the rate of biofuel incorporated in gasoline and diesel, including "rewarding good students and taxing those who do not incorporate biofuels". Especially since the countries of the European Union have the agricultural resources - oleaginous, maize - necessary for the production of biofuels to meet needs by 2010. In addition, 120 000 jobs could be created by the development of this sector, according to professional organizations.