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Renewable energies in the service of humanity : the current challenges and prospects by 2030 and 2050

Programme and presentations

8h30 - 09h00 Welcome

9h00 – 09h30 Official Opening

Opening speeches

  • Joël Bertrand, Director General for Science of CNRS
  • Virginie Schwarz, Deputy Director General of ADEME
  • Gretchen Kalonji, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences - UNESCO

    09h30 – 10h00
    Introductory session : renewable energy at the global scale
    archives Wolfgang Palz, Chairman World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) : review on 40 years of experience
    archives Christine Lins, Executive Secretary for the Renewable Energy Global Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) : the status of renewable energy worldwide
    archives Paolo Frankl, Head Renewable Energy Division. International Energy Agency (IEA) : world renewable energy outlook by 2030 and 2050
    archives Frank Wouters, Deputy Director-General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) : Renewable Energy, changing perspectives

    10h10 – 11h20
    Session I Part 1. The scientific and technical developments of renewable energies, which perspectives for the industrial sector by 2030 and 2050 ?
    This session will present cross-views of the scientific and industrial state of the art of the different sectors of renewable energies and their development prospects by 2030 and 2050. This first part will be devoted to solar and wind industry.

    Chair - Daniel Lincot, Research Director at CNRS
    I. Solar Energy
    archives The Silicon sector : Richard Swanson, Founder of Sunpower (USA)
    archives Thin layer sectors : Prof. Dr. Ayodhya Tiwari, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurick, (Switzerland)
    Concentrating Solar Power technologies
    archives High Concentration Photovoltaics (CPV) : Prof. Dr. Masafumi Yamaguchi, Toyota Technology Institute (Japan)
    archives Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) : Gilles Flamant, Director of PROMES, CNRS
    II. Wind Energy
    archives Wind Energy in Denmark and Technology Transfer : Preben Maegaard, Director of the Volkecenter for Renewable Energy (Denmark)
    archives R&D Roadmap for Wind Energy by 2030/2050 in Europe : Georges Kariniotakis, PERSEE Centre, MinesParistech (France)

    11h40 – 13h10
    Session I Part 2, the scientific and technical developments of renewable energies, which perspectives for the industrial sector by 2030 and 2050 ?
    This session will present cross-views of the scientific and industrial state of the art of the different sectors of renewable energies and their development prospects by 2030 and 2050. This second part will be devoted to Biomass, Marine and Geothermal Energies.

    Chair - Alain Dollet, Scientific Deputy Director at CNRS for the Energy Sector
    I. Biomass and Bioenergy (biofuels, heat and electricity)
    archives World Perspectives : Claude Roy, President of the “bio-economist Club” and member of the General Council of Agriculture, Food and Rural Areas (CGAAER).
    archives The Case of Brazil : Caroline Rayol, Bioenergies and Resources Project Manager, French biorefinery competitiveness cluster, (ex. Adviser for Analysis and Management of Government Policies on Bioenergy Presidency of Republic of Brazil, Executive Office),
    archives Biomass and Biofuels : Jean Luc Duplan, Biomass Manager, IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN)
    II. Marine Energies
    archives The development of renewable marine energies in France : Marc Boeuf, R&D Director, France Energies Marines,
    III. Geothermal Energy
    archives Geothermal Energies in Europe : Burkard Sanner, President of the European Geothermal Energy Council (Germany)
    archives Overview of the geothermal sector in France, the case of the Alsace Region : Jean-Jacques Graff, President of “Electricité de Strasbourg Géothermie” (ESG)
    IV. Which prospects in the medium and long term ?
    archives 2030/2050 forecast, beyond technology deployments : Anne Varet, Director of Research and Prospective of ADEME

    14h15 – 15h15
    Session II, what measures need to be taken for deploying renewable energy ?
    Economic, technological, regulatory or societal factors are impeding the development of renewable energies. Beyond technological obstacles, several actions have to be undertaken : assessment of the cost-benefit of new uses, design of new economic tools and suitable business models, improve in the diffusion processes of innovation. To what extent can these new products and services be adopted by users ? What are the governance processes enabling the deployment of these systems ? What new forms of organisation are needed to ensure effective operation ?

    Chair - Rémi Chabrillat, Director of Production and Sustainable Energies of ADEME
    I. Renewable Energies Integration and Storage
    archives Integrating Renewable Energy onto the Smart Grid : technology, economic and organisational challenges : Nouredine Hadjsaid, Professor at INP Grenoble, G2Elab laboratory (CNRS)
    archives Electricity storage, the case of electrochemical storage : Jean-Marie Tarascon, Professor at University of Picardie, Director of RS2E network, Member of the French Academy of Sciences (France)
    archives Hydrogen storage and Fuel Cells : Thierry Priem, Program Director at the Institute for New Energy Technologies, CEA/LITEN (France)
    II. Towards Circular Economy
    archives Raw materials and strategic metals : Olivier Vidal, Coordinator of EU Program Era-net ERAMIN
    III. Return of Experiences
    archives The Case of Germany : Franz Alt, Journalist, Specialist of Renewable Energies
    archives The case of France : Jean-Louis Bal, President of the Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables (SER)

    15h15- 16h15
    Session III, how to encourage future development of renewables to meet universal access to energy ?
    This round-table will explore the role of renewable energies to meet the global challenges of universal access to energy and address the following issues : how to promote investment in renewable energy in developing countries ? Which transfers of technical know-how and sharing of best practices ?

    Chair - Dominique Campana, Director of International Affairs of ADEME
    I. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
    archives UNEP experience in deploying renewable energy and low carbon technology in developing countries : Dr Zitouni Ould-Dada, Head of Technology Unit of the UNEP DTIE Energy Branch
    II. The Experiences of National and Regional Programs
    archives Renewable energy perspectives in the Mediterranean countries- the Mediterranean Solar Plan : Houda Allal, Director General of the Mediterranean Energy Observatory (OME)
    archives The Regional Program of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) : Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of ECREEE.
    III. Funding Mechanisms and Capacity Building
    archives Financing of renewable energy projects : Michael Eckhart, Director General, Citygroup (USA)
    archives Renewable Energies Support Programmes in developing countries : Christian de Gromard, Energy Project Officer at the French Development Agency (AFD).

    Session IV, Synthesis and Proposals

  • Osman Benchikh, Head of Renewable Energy Programme, UNESCO
  • François Moisan, Executive Director of Strategy and Research and Scientific Director of
  • Jean-Yves Marzin, Director of Institute of Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS), CNRS.


Programme and bios of speakers Participants Photographs
List of participants


Audio recordings

Journée d’étude internationale - Matinée 1re partie

Journée d’étude internationale - Matinée 2nde partie

Journée d’étude internationale - Après-midi Sessions 2, 3, 4

Upload - session 1.1

Upload - session 1.2

Upload - sessions 2-3-4


Ceremony at UNESCO
Les énergies renouvelables au service de l’humanité

Videos of the ceremony at UNESCO

Video French interpretation English interpretation (audio)


Event announcement


English version
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In 1973, 40 years ago, was held in Paris under the auspices of UNESCO the international congress « The Sun in the Service of Mankind ». This conference marked the entrance of sustainable development as a major objective to develop at the international level. Since this time numerous initiatives and projects have brought this universal challenge into reality through the recent endeavour of large scale use of renewable energies for the energy supply of mankind. Several scenarios are stating that renewable energies will become the main energy source in 2050. 40 years later, we can measure all the progress but also all the work that still needs to be done to achieve this objective.

The year 2013 marks a turning point. Indeed, 2013 is almost at mid-way between the 1973 founding congress and 2050, which represents the targeted year where GHG emissions have to be divided by a factor of four as compared to 1990s level, for a number of nations, including France. Other key milestones have been defined : on the one hand the Conference of Parties on climate changes (COP 21) to be held in December 2015, which aims to launch a “Post Kyoto” international binding agreement, and on the other hand the United Nations Sustainable Energies for All Initiative (SE4All) which aims at achieving universal access to modern energy services by 2030.
This is a critical period, marked by an unprecedented development of renewable energy at the industrial and economic levels which embodies the hopes of 1973, but also by an uncertain and less optimistic future, in a difficult economic context where short term non-renewable energy solutions may be privileged. This enhances the needs to strongly remind the importance of renewable energy and to stress the need to reinforce their development.

For all these reasons, ADEME, CNRS and UNESCO, have decided to organise an international meeting, on the 3rd of October 2013 : « Renewable Energies in the service of humanity : the current challenges and prospects by 2030 and 2050 ». This event will review and address the current renewable energies development and the future opportunities. It will also be the occasion to focus on the role of renewable energy to meet major global challenges and on energy in the Post-2015 Agenda.

This meeting will give the opportunity to :

  • Draw up the development of renewable energy and highlight their contribution to the global energy transition,
  • Assess their prospects in terms of scientific and industrial developments,
  • Call for a strong international solidarity, at political, industrial, scientific and social levels for strengthening the deployment of renewable energies in the coming years.

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En 1973, s’est tenue à Paris la conférence internationale « le soleil au service de l’humanité » sous l’égide de l’UNESCO, qui a marqué l’entrée de la thématique du développement durable parmi les grandes causes internationales à impulser. De nombreuses initiatives et études viennent aujourd’hui donner corps à cette volonté universaliste de montée en puissance des énergies renouvelables, avec des scénarios à l’horizon 2050 allant jusqu’à prévoir une part majoritaire des énergies renouvelables dans l’approvisionnement énergétique de l’humanité. 40 ans après on peut donc mesurer tout le chemin parcouru mais aussi celui qu’il reste encore à faire pour atteindre cet objectif.

L’année 2013 marque donc une année charnière, qui se situe pratiquement à mi-chemin entre le congrès fondateur de 1973 et l’année 2050 qui est une année symbolique pour laquelle également la réduction d’un facteur 4 des émissions de CO2 par rapport aux émissions de 1990 a été érigée en objectif vertueux à atteindre pour de nombreux pays, dont la France. Par ailleurs, plusieurs échéances se dessinent aujourd’hui : d’une part, la Conférence des Parties sur les changements climatiques (COP 21) en décembre 2015, qui pourrait aboutir à l’adoption d’un accord international universel et contraignant « post Kyoto » ; d’autre part, l’initiative des Nations Unies en faveur de l’énergie durable pour tous (SE4All) qui vise l’accès universel à l’énergie à l’horizon 2030.

Il s’agit d’une période déterminante, marquée par un développement sans précédent des énergies renouvelables sur le plan industriel et économique qui concrétise les espoirs de 1973, mais aussi par un avenir qui reste encore incertain, dans un contexte économique difficile ou les solutions à court terme pourraient être à nouveau privilégiées. Il est donc nécessaire de rappeler avec force l’importance des énergies renouvelables et la nécessité de poursuivre leur développement.

Pour l’ensemble de ces raisons, l’UNESCO, l’ADEME et le CNRS, ont décidé d’organiser une initiative internationale, le 3 octobre 2013 : « Les énergies renouvelables au service de l’humanité : enjeux actuels et perspectives aux horizons 2030 et 2050 », qui permettra de faire le point et de débattre du développement des énergies renouvelables et des perspectives pour les années et décennies à venir.

La journée d’étude permettra de :

  • Faire un bilan du développement actuel des énergies renouvelables et mettre en perspective leur contribution dans la transition énergétique mondiale,
  • Evaluer leurs perspectives en termes de développements scientifiques et industriels,
  • Appeler à une solidarité internationale renforcée pour les énergies renouvelables : politique, scientifique, industrielle et sociale.



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