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L’énergie dans le développement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie

 | 
Yves Le Bars
, 
Elsa Faugère
, 
Philippe Menanteau
, 
et al.

Recommendations

Recommendations

Texte intégral

Section 1. Energy management: a major challenge to the sustainable development of New Caledonia and its energy security

Recommendation no. 1. Encourage energy management activities in construction and construction equipment
To encourage real movement in a market and create competitive conditions for a new system, all or part of the additional costs of an energy management campaign first need to be met. As part of such a campaign, the relevant institutions are always keen to modify the decision-maker’s approach according to the objectives they have set themselves.
Incentives can be key:
■ funding to assist decision-making: thermal diagnostics, energy feasibility for a specific system… ;
■ tariffs for purchasing renewable energy;
■ direct aid to support part of the extra investment needed to implement an energy efficient, or renewable energy campaign;
■ fiscal, by means of tax incentives, tax credits;
■ indirect by developing a label, possibly allowing for compensation (land coverage coefficient bonus…) ;
■ indirect again, via compulsory energy labelling certified by means of energy performance diagnostics.
The aim is to improve the economic return on activities. These incentives are not, generally speaking, designed to last beyond the time at which the market has reached a certain level of maturity and become competitive.
The Public Authorities can use their power to force building designers to comply with precise design regulations, prohibit certain types of appliances, and dictate behaviour (cf. the following recommendation). Often, however, it is a case of validating good practice and making it as widespread as possible.

Recommendation no. 2. Adopt thermal regulations in the services sector and new and existing building, and develop solar thermal as a priority wherever there is demand for hot water
The backbone of any energy management policy requires thermal regulations to be imposed. Indeed, a defined set of thermal regulations would bring greater coherence and clarity to the energy and environmental policy. Any new regulation in its early stages requires a precise understanding of all the ins and outs involved, i.e. the climate, consumption, consumers and other stakeholders. This detailed knowledge, in terms of indicators, safeguards, and benchmarks, constitutes a means of reference for all campaigns, including labelling or certification, which rely on such knowledge to define their own objectives. For example, the label Low Energy Building is defined as a level of consumption 50% below the benchmark level defined by the regulations. It is thus an essential tool which forces clear and precise long-term objectives to be defined.
The main work in establishing new regulations involves several essential steps:

As indicated in recommendation no. 1, it is often a case of validating good practice and making it as widespread as possible: it is important to properly define best practice.
Solar thermal must be developed as a priority wherever there is a need for hot water. Generation by means of a heat pump can be considered only where solar thermal cannot be developed. Solar thermal is not competitive enough in its current state due to the laudable desire to create local solar systems. Nevertheless, the costs on the ground have proven to be high. Support to local systems should include at the very least, an increase in the volume of water heaters sold at a reasonable price, so as to promote local usage and to discourage the current practice of low volumes at high prices.

Recommendation no. 3. Undertake studies to improve understanding of the transport sector
The transport sector (passengers and goods, urban and regional) is the second biggest consumer of oil, which is reasonable after electricity generation. It is also a sector where energy efficiency could probably be hugely improved with wise policies. Unfortunately, as highlighted in our analysis, the data available in New Caledonia is not precise enough to evaluate in detail the effects of the possible policies.
We do not know, for example, what proportion of diesel is consumed by trucks and what proportion is consumed by private cars. Neither does the data available allow us to estimate how fuel consumption is influenced by cost.
The debate on the mainland regarding the impact of the carbon tax on the budget of low-income households will continue in the same way in N.-C. if, following our recommendation below, a fuel tax is applied. However, the existing data regarding household consumption and travel patterns in New Caledonia is currently too deficient to enable any such debate.
Finally, it is likely that substantial savings could be made by redistributing freight transport between aircraft and ships, but here too it is impossible on the basis of the information available, to assess the practicalities of such a policy of modal shift.
We have identified several actions needed to plug these gaps:
■ A broadening of the Dimenc Energy Observatory’s scope in the area of fuel consumption by different modes of transport. Dimenc could then estimate the number of kilometres driven annually by different vehicle types (cars, heavy goods vehicles, light commercial vehicles, by fuel types and by types of use).
■ A speedy analysis concerned specifically with the results of the Isee “Household budget consumption – 2008” survey, which were not available at the time of our mission to assess the impact of different fiscal measures on household budgets, according to place of residence and the head of the household’s socio-professional category.
■ A survey of “Household journeys” as conducted periodically in mainland cities in order to understand household journeys, mode of travel, distances covered, etc.
■ A survey of the haulage sector (types of goods, origin-destination of routes, vehicle types…) to enable an evaluation of the potential of modal shift. along with the probable impact of fiscal incentives (taxes or subsidies) on energy savings.
■ A re-evaluation of domestic air and maritime tariff and subsidy systems, in the light of the often contradictory issues of energy savings and regional integration.

Recommendation no. 4. Abolish the fiscal imbalances which affect drivers’ choices, introduce a carbon tax and a tax disc based on fuel consumption
In N.-C., diesel is taxed at half the rate of petrol although it is a worse pollutant, and the tax on the purchase of pick-ups is lower than on cars despite the fact that pick-ups generally make a 50% higher contribution to the green-house effect.
The resultant imbalance in prices encourages New Caledonians to choose to use more pollutant gas-guzzling vehicles. Three measures could be taken to ensure that the price better reflects the environmental cost of drivers’ choices:
■ The abolition of the tax differential which currently favours diesel and pickup type vehicles
Currently, the total tax on petrol is 2.3 times higher than on diesel. There is no economic justification for this difference. Looking at urban traffic, it even acts as an incentive to pollute more, since diesel vehicles are worse pollutants than petrol vehicles. The differential should be abolished. Likewise, the reduced rate of import tax on double-cab pick-ups introduced in November 2005 seems to have had a pernicious effect on the type of vehicles on the road, and should be re-evaluated.
■ The introduction of a carbon tax
If N.-C. were to apply a carbon tax of 30 euros per tonne of CO2, as several European countries are considering, that would correspond to a carbon tax of 9 and 10 XPF per litre of petrol and per litre of diesel respectively. The resultant increased sale price in the region of 6% can be compared with the sharp price fluctuation which accompanied the explosion in oil prices last year: in less than one year, between May 2008 and March 2009, the price of diesel first increased by 33 XPF, to then fall by 52 XPF. To follow the European example, the New Caledonian carbon tax on fuel could gradually reach around thirty XPF by 2030.
Should this figure be the same for all fossil fuels? Logically yes, because this is the very principle and justification of the carbon tax; however, it should be noted that this tax would have the effect of doubling the cost of imported coal. We could, therefore, look at the impact of such a tax on the metal industry and, in addition, on the trade balance of N.-C. (however such issues are beyond the scope of our participation).
■ The introduction of a tax disc based on fuel consumption
Most OECD countries have a tax on vehicle ownership along the lines of the defunct “vignette” tax disc system, and virtually everywhere this tax has recently been amended to take into account the vehicle’s environmental impact (contribution to greenhouse effect and/or local pollution). In the European Union, this has even been made compulsory by a given deadline. Most countries also apply a system of taxation on purchases (or a bonus/malus system) which varies directly or indirectly according to the vehicle’s potential contribution to the greenhouse effect. N.-C. should undoubtedly follow this example by bringing back the tax disc with a scale of tariffs based on CO2 emissions per km calculated according to European models.
As explained in the previous sheet, we believe that these fiscal reforms should be preceded by an evaluation of their impact on household budgets to ensure that the lowest income households can cope with them, and possibly systems of compensation should be established.

Recommendation no. 5. Implement the proposals of the Noumea PDU
The discouragement of car use by means of fuel taxes, and the discouragement of multi-vehicle households through a tax on vehicle ownership as proposed in the previous recommendation, will meet with less resistance if alternative solutions are made more attractive.
The recommendations put forward in the Movement Plan for the Nouméa Metropolitan Area (PDAN) are heading in this direction, by advocating an improved public transport service (frequency, speed, extended network), creating cycle paths, etc. Nevertheless, more will certainly need to be done for drivers to agree to occasionally leave their car in the garage and use public transport. The level of comfort will have to be improved. Air conditioning projects in Nouméa’s buses will certainly help. This initiative will have a more positive outcome in terms of greenhouse gas emissions if it succeeds in attracting people who would otherwise travel by car, onto public transport.
There is one sector in N.-C. which is perhaps not utilised to its best potential: the rental vehicle with driver. Currently, the market for this service is mainly school runs. Here, rental vehicles with drivers help to reduce the use of private cars because parents no longer have to drive their offspring to school by car. They could undoubtedly be used more because, unlike taxis, their price is not fixed and no doubt closer to the actual cost. These costs could fall substantially by reducing the down time between runs, which can be facilitated at low cost, by the combined technologies of IT and navigation using GPS and GPRS communications.
In the majority of OECD countries, this sector - which differs from taxis in that it may respond only to journey requests received by telephone - is increasingly in demand to provide a complementary service to high capacity public transport, particularly in off-peak periods, low density areas or when door-to-door comfort is necessary. It also occupies a central position in “corporate travel” - systems where companies encourage their employees to abandon their car when coming to work.
A specific study could be conducted to examine how experiences of such mobility policies could be adapted to N.-C., and the potential benefits of rental vehicles with driver exploited.

Recommendation no. 6. Improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes
Energy efficiency, particularly in the case of electricity generation and industrial processes, is very directly associated with the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The strategy is thus to give priority to reducing the ratio of CO2,emitted/ kWhusable in conversion processes (electricity generation) and product manufacture (Nickel).
The focus within this double objective could be to:
Optimising processes
- Identify and evaluate, using in situ measures, energy losses and potential energy efficiency gains in order to establish an energy and carbon assessment for large industrial companies; to implement the use of high performance, optimised equipment.
- Integrate and link energy systems (for example, power plant/factory; fur-naces/dryers/the product/…).
- Use systematic approaches and high performance tools to operate, check, regulate and optimise the management of processes.
Produce a favourable financial (economic) and environmental balance sheet (minimise polluting emissions such as nitrogen oxide, sulphur, particles of soot). Consider the impact of such undesirables toxins on the health of workers and the population.
Set up a system of CO2 capture and storage for emissions from metal factories and power plants (combustion process which can be adapted to CO2 capture, reserve space close to the power plant).
Recycle waste heat for use outside the factory: energy from flue gases for air conditioning; develop a cold transport and distribution system (air-conditioned) in the Nouméa metropolitan area; convert biomass into biofuel… Taking inspiration from recent decisions made by industry and European governments as described above, the government of New Caledonia could set itself the objective of imposing a reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 (bipartite negotiations may be considered in specific processes). As a result, New Caledonia’s manufacturers should achieve the global aim of increasing energy efficiency in processes by 20% (this objective is part of the climate plan), before even taking on the carbon issue.
These technological changes will in time result in lower energy costs in the final product, i.e. a better return, savings for the customer, and an improved economic and environmental footprint.

Recommendation no. 7. Make the end user (the public, business) aware of the energy and climate issues and convince them of their importance
End users – the public, businesses – are largely unaware of their own energy consumption and the implications that this has on the community and the environment. Sharing the energy and climate issues and interest in energy management activities with as many people as possible forms part of the initial basis of an energy and environment policy. Within the global debate on the increased scarcity of fossil fuel resources, and in the light of the first tangible effects of the greenhouse effect, there is a real need for clear messages to include end users in the action, rather than leaving them to suffer the stress that comes from the impotence to take action. Various different methods can be used to get the message across:
■ Public campaign (advertising for example), awareness in schools, making the tax incentives known, organising seminars and fairs about energy savings, awareness campaigns targeting certain sectors or main contractors, visits to operational examples, study trip...
A higher level of information would involve going beyond the delicate tightrope of civic spirit (the fight against the greenhouse effect), patriotism (independence in energy) and standing firmly as the voice of reason. This means proving, with supporting evidence, that the community’s interests and those of the final decision-maker overlap. This exercise requires an economic approach to show that the steps or solutions proposed are in the interests of the decision-maker. A distinction can be made between two scenarios:
■ solutions which enable investment savings (with or without extra investment) and operational savings (for example bioclimatic design linked to orientation, building shape, etc.) ;
■ solutions with to lower operational costs, but which initially require extra investment.
In this second case, which is the most common, the work consists of demonstrating the economic interest in terms of overall cost or payback time. The difficulty arises when the investor and future user or manager (whoever gains from the benefits of the activity) fails to be impressed.
This type of information is disseminated using media such as flyers or brochures, highlighting technical choices, economic and technical arguments in favour of best practice, design guides, operational demonstrations, and broadcasts or audiovisual reports on a specific topic to be optimised.
This recommendation supplements recommendation no. 8, under the “What framework for an energy and climate policy promoting the development of New Caledonia” chapter.

Recommendation no. 8. Carry out qualitative socio-anthropological surveys to obtain detailed knowledge and understanding of energy-related thinking and practices of New Caledonians
Criteria:

■ survey essential to gain better understanding of New Caledonians’ practices and thinking in relation to energy
■ low cost (qualitative socio-anthropological surveys are not very expensive)
Timeline: 2 years
The anthropological section of this experts’ report has revealed a crucial lack of understanding of the thinking and practices of the inhabitants of N.-C. in terms of energy. There are currently no qualitative surveys relating to New Caledonians in terms of energy, not even relating to their attitude to energy savings, renewable energies, etc. It would thus be useful to conduct some qualitative socio-anthropological surveys to look at New Caledonians’ behaviour and attitudes to energy. The survey should be carried out amongst different population categories depending on their socio-economic status (income, education), but also according to their geographical location (the centre of Nouméa, greater Nouméa, inhabitants of the North Province (from villages such as Koné or Pouembout as well as tribe members), and inhabitants of the Loyalty Islands.
Rather than entrust such a survey to be conducted by one single person, it would be interesting to form a working group partly made up of Research masters students from the University of N.-C. (Space, Societies and Literature in the Oceanic World) who could conduct the survey as researchers from the university of N.-C., of the “New Caledonia ‘s modern social issues” research group and the Nouméa Development Research Institute (IRD).

Section 2. New energy production and storage technology

Recommendation no. 1. Wider deployment of wind and photovoltaic electricity production attached to the network on Grande Terre
Criteria
: energy issues, ease of deployment/cost
Timeline: medium term
In terms of electricity production, particularly on Grande Terre where there is already an extensive network, we recommend more ambitious deployment of wind and photovoltaic technologies (on buildings and potentially in the form of centralised farms).
These technologies are relatively mature and their costs, while still high, are either the most attractive, or the most likely to fall significantly when it comes to electricity generation from a renewable source. The cost of photovoltaic energy is set to decrease significantly again, which given the cost of these technologies, and the high number of hours of sunshine, offers an interesting perspective on competition in the medium-term. Prospects of cost reductions for wind power seem less promising, although there will be some decrease, and the way it complements PV will provide some interesting opportunities (to be monitored). Deployment of the two technologies simultaneously could be envisaged as providing a diversified energy mix.
Such deployment may require strengthening of the electrical network, and certainly better optimisation of how it is managed to take account of intermittent feed-in: adjusted tariff incentives (elimination of peaks, peak tariff times/off-peak times…), planning will also be required for the use of sophisticated meteorological forecasting, and to ensure that operators pass all productivity and production information to the network manager in a completely transparent way.
Recommendations nos. 2 and 3 propose, respectively, measures to be taken in this regard, and an evaluation of the large-scale pumped-storage hydroelectricity opportunities to compensate for intermittent production.
Finally, to achieve the ambitious renewable electricity objectives, we recommend that appropriate purchase tariffs be adopted. While the purchase prices used on the mainland can be used as a benchmark for PV, specific tariffs will need to be established for wind power given the high cost of this technology in NC. The purchase tariffs must take account of the double tax incentive to avoid the potential situation of payment being made to the producer. Likewise, a gradual sliding scale must be implemented to promote a decrease in costs.
On the wrong track or “a misguided idea”
To believe that the rate of penetration into the grid by wind power and/or PV must continue to be highly restricted (10 or 20% for example). It should be noted that this belief would be true if no efforts were being made to improve network management and/or introduce storage methods.

Recommendation no. 2. Improve the electrical system to allow greater deployment of intermittent production from renewable sourcese
Criteria
: aligned with recommendation no. 1
Timeline: short/medium term
Increasing the production of electricity from wind or photovoltaic energy (intermittent and not correlated with demand) poses classic problems of network stability, where effective operations are based on an instantaneous balance between production and consumption. In the absence of storage methods, if its level of penetration remains low, intermittent electricity production can be seen as negative consumption. In N.-C., the output from intermittent production systems already represents more than 7% of the scheduled output; a huge increase in wind power or PV would require specific measures to be implemented to carry out the immediate adjustment between supply and demand. It is interesting to note that, in light of the Republic of France’s decree of 23 April 2008, it is now felt that if intermittent sources were to exceed 30%, storage would become necessary , primarily to avoid production stoppages which the network manager would be entitled to authorise.
Different types of measures need to be implemented:
- Predictions: just as consumption profiles are subject to predictions according to human activities and the weather, intermittent production must be subject to reliable predictions.
- Planning/management: improved predictions, better communication between operators and optimal adjustment of existing production methods should enable a rate of penetration of the order of 25 to 30% to be achieved. The exact value of the rate of penetration can not be given with any precision without an in-depth study because it depends on a number of parameters.
- Over-production: shared production to benefit from the effects of over-production; also evaluate the possible complementary nature of wind and photovoltaic power.
- Demand management: develop incentives to act on consumption profiles, for example by including the option of cut-off (through special contracts) during peak times which enable the rate of penetration to be pushed even higher.
- Storage: finally, assess the possibility of introducing storage methods which would provide far greater flexibility in terms of network management to achieve much higher rates of penetration for methods which emit very little CO2, and offer low-level dependence. Pumped-storage hydroelectricity is undoubtedly the technology best suited to the specific characteristics of Grande Terre and, it is also by far the widest used technology in the world.
In the case of the small islands, hybrid photovoltaic micro networks (with a generator and electrochemical storage) are interesting options from a technical and economic point of view (cf. recommendation no. 7).
On the wrong track or “a misguided idea”
To believe that the rate of penetration of intermittent production into the grid should continue to be highly restricted (10 or 20% for example).

Recommendation no. 3. Assess the possibility of building pump-operated electrical storage stations
Introducing large-scale storage would significantly increase the network’s capacity to handle an increased level of intermittent production.
We recommend looking into pumped-storage hydroelectricity in particular because the landscape of N.-C. would seem to lend itself well to this. The possibility of using sea water in the case of systems located by the sea could enable a substantial saving on investment, provided that the upper storage reservoir could be guaranteed to be impermeable, to avoid polluting fresh water and eco systems. Other storage solutions could also be considered (electrochemical circulating and sodium sulphide), as the island of La Réunion is currently planning.
Energy transfer pumping stations (also known as pumped-storage hydroelectricity systems or pumped turbine stations) are the dominant technology in high power units up to several GW. The yield per cycle is around 80%. The major constraint is around the need for sites with the right landscape. These systems, despite their enormous power, can nowadays operate at a variable speed, which enables fine tuning of the power , and makes a large contribution towards stabilising the network.
Recently, an OPECST report published in March 2009 (C. Bataille and C. Birraux) and an Assessment of the Energy Research Strategy, aired the possibility of building these stations at sea, by creating false atolls. A dyke rising 50 to 100 m above sea level would allow 2 to 8 GWh per km2 to be stored for a potential output of several GW. The technology is available and the costs acceptable. This leads on to the idea that energy transfer pumping stations built by the sea with an important geological relief on the coast, would allow sea water to be transferred to a high reservoir, thereby eliminating the need to construct an upper reservoir. Of course, a sufficient degree of impermeability would need to be guaranteed to avoid sea water infiltrating the ground. This option could be looked into in N.-C. where the layout seems favourable.
To provide some idea of the scale of constraints, a difference in height of 100 m would provide an energy storage capacity of 1 GWh (50 MW x 20 h) provided there is a reservoir of around 4 million m3 available, which could cover a surface area of 40 ha to a depth of 10 m. The maximum power depends on the pumped turbine groups and duct sections. Costs depend largely on the building structure, and it is difficult to give a precise idea of scale.
We recommend that this option be investigated from a technical, economic and land-use point of view.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To believe that electricity cannot be stored.

Recommendation no. 4. Assess the possibilities of recycling methanisable waste
Criteria: energy independence/reduced greenhouse gas emissions
Timeline: medium term
We recommend an assessment of the possibility of recycling waste (household, food processing, abattoir, purification plant sludge refuse…) to produce biogas (methane), particularly in heavily populated areas such as Nouméa.
The volumes of energy at stake are no doubt small but potentially, recovering biogas from landfill sites can prevent a greenhouse gas with a high radiation effect from escaping.
The food processing industry, purification plants and specific cultures can also produce biogas.
The simplest route is to recycle this gas in the form of heat, but this assumes that there is demand for heat close to the production site (with, possibly, gas feeds to a few large users). It can also be used to produce electricity or, following purification, as a fuel.
What is needed is therefore to:
■ first determine the size of the deposit, the options to centralise and to codigest waste;
■ then select the most attractive recycling system (heat, electricity or fuel). Here, specific attention must be paid to after sales services to ensure maintenance of the generators. That said, when there is sufficient electricity available which emits few greenhouse gases, as is the case in France and Sweden where hydraulic and nuclear electricity production is high, it is better to recycle biogas as a fuel. In N.-C., where electricity generation is still dominated by coal, all options remain, a priori, open.
Recycling biogas for transport purposes assumes that there is a captive fleet (the Nouméa city buses for example).

Recommendation no. 5. Assess the potential of producing lignocellulosic biomass and its use in coal-fired heat generating plants
Criteria
: cost/reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Timeline: short term
The use of lignocellulosic biomass to generate electricity requires further study.
Preparing the fuel is extremely simple and, unlike producing biofuels, uses little energy. Coal-fired electricity generating plants (circulating fluidised bed in particular) are able to absorber a proportion of the fuel with no difficulty, from the lignocellulosic biomass for example, with additional costs depending fundamentally on the cost of mobilising the resource. This approach could prove particularly interesting in terms of reducing energy dependence, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs.
The issue of resource must nevertheless still be investigated. We could mention, for example, productivity of 16 MWh of electricity per hectare with regard to the Acacia Mangium and Albiz(z)ia falcataria which form the basis of rapid-growth reforestation destined for the paper industry in South-East Asia. Without further study, however, it is impossible to state that the mining land in N.-C. would enable comparable yields to be achieved. It would be in fact be sensible to mix revegetation of mining land with land designed to produce harvestable biomass.
In order to progress further with the issue of biomass resources for energy generation, we first recommend collating and publishing the scientifically validated information available regarding the options for producing lignous or herbaceous biomass (such as Miscanthus), taking account of the characteristics of the soil, rainfall, etc. in N.-C.
To do this, we recommend appointing staff from the Caledonian Agricultural Institute to investigate this major issue, and provide a historical survey of the experiments already conducted, and new trials defined by sites where the production of herbaceous lignocellulosic or lignous biomass for energy could reasonably be considered.
Given the potential importance, all the conditions necessary for this resource to be exploited must be examined with care. SLN has already studied this possibility and estimated that the deposit in New Caledonia was insufficient/insufficiently organised. The EEC report leads us confirm that it would be of interest to re-examine this topic.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To think that the organisational difficulties form an insurmountable restriction to the use of biomass.

Recommendation no. 6. Using coprah oil to produce fuel that is compatible with modern engines
On the islands, coprah oil production is already proven, along with its capacity for combustion in diesel generators. However, the latest generation of diesel injection engines are no longer capable of burning such oils directly. No engine manufacturer currently will issue a guarantee if crude oil is used.
John Deer (A. Riedacker, personnel communications) is currently working in Germany to develop a crude oil tractor engine. Without this type of engine, there will need to be a transesterification step in order to obtain a fuel that is compatible with modern engines and their emissions standards. This step would be technically possible on an island scale.
The feasibility of this approach thus depends primarily on a guaranteed regular supply of raw materials and its economic viability. The limited length of our experts’ report and the lack of understanding of local social conditions means we can give no definitive opinion on these two points.
In summary, it appears that the technical conditions have come together to allow the use of coprah oil as a fuel which is of clear interest in terms of energy supply to the islands. Nevertheless, knowing what deposits can technically be mobilised is not enough; the economic and social conditions of this approach need to be defined and, in particular, the willingness of local players to become involved needs to be confirmed before consideration can be given to developing this type of system.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To think that abandoning the coprah approach is proof that it is not viable.

Recommendation no. 7. Evaluate to what extent wind power and photovoltaic complement each other in order to develop hybrid PV-wind generating systems
Criteria
: energy supply to the islands/cost
Timeline: medium term
In the case of the small islands (N.-C. except Grande Terre), hybrid photovoltaic micro networks (with a generator and electrochemical storage) are options to consider. For the islands that are further away in particular, and where the dynamic demand is low (demand is primarily focused in domestic use), such micro networks present a good technical and economic compromise. The production cost of these small systems is high compared with large-scale heat generation methods, but the cost of an undersea connection to Grande Terre would undoubtedly nor be amortised (especially in the context of future price increases for traditional fuels) and this option would incur the risk of failure (broken cables). Moreover, systems fed from local and renewable sources enable the cost of supply of fossil fuels to feed high capacity generators to be reduced. These hybrid systems can be sized for very low fuel consumption from generators and used only in exceptional circumstances (abnormally low hours of sunshine for an unexpected period, or unexpected over consumption, or failure).
In concrete terms, an in-depth account of international experience with this type of solution under comparable conditions of use (small-scale island systems, domestic or small services demand) needs to be completed. If this account is positive, demonstrations should be considered in order to determine not just the optimal technical features, but methods of operation and maintenance too. In addition, for wider distribution, funding terms will need to be examined; in certain countries (Ecuador, for example) we will see the concept of fixed price guarantees designed to promote the development of isolated electricity system following the example of guaranteed prices used for centralised renewable energy generation. This option could be considered as an alternative to the traditional approach of subsidies applied to isolated systems to expand or augment the electrification of remote island areas.
Finally, the maintenance and upkeep of such systems is crucial. We recommend studying the methods of maintenance based, for example, on what Enercal currently does on autonomous photovoltaic systems where the feedback appears to be very good (quality of service and performance as well as lifespan).
■ On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To think that hybrid micro networks are outdated solutions.

Recommendation no. 8. Evaluate the potential and the feasibility of concentrating thermodynamic solar power plants
Criteria
: energy independence/reduced greenhouse gas emissions
Timeline: medium/long term
Concentrating thermodynamic solar power plants may provide a particularly attractive route to electricity generation in the medium term. This relatively mature technology (power plants have been operating for several decades and there are many more under construction) uses only the sun’s direct radiation, and thus requires highly exposed sites.
We suggest initial research be carried out into sites which are favourable in terms of directly available sunshine in the Territory (surface area of around 1 ha per MW needed to generate between 3 and 5 GWh/ha). One of the major advantages of these electricity generating plants is the possibility of creating intermediary stores of heat which allows a certain level of disconnection between electricity generation and the sun’s radiation, and offers the option of generating electricity at night. Feeding this into the network could be made very easy. Finally, the scale of the units currently being built globally is compatible with the demands of the Grande Terre network.
Several technologies are available (tower, mirrors, parabolic cylindrical…); these different technologies need to be compared in the context of New Caledonia in order to determine which is most appropriate.
The costs of this technology are still high, but ongoing or planned development projects in various regions of the world mean a significant reduction can be expected over the next few years. Moreover, the major potential for developing this technology in Australia may open up opportunities for regional cooperation which could be considered.
Grande Terre could welcome such a power plant to its network. We recommend a technical and economic study to evaluate the costs, productivity and which technology is best suited to specific local conditions.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
Don’t forget that photovoltaic is not the only solution to generate electricity from solar sources.

Recommendation no. 9. Develop an atlas of energy resources
Criteria: required in order to optimise the deployment of new methods of energy generation (electrical and biomass)
Timeline: short/medium term
The balance between the deployment of photovoltaic and wind systems and the sizing of hybrid systems (PV wind + possibly generator) could be better optimised if there was better understanding of the solar radiation and wind resources throughout the entire territory. To achieve this, it would be useful to collate all the existing data and start new campaigns to gather additional information.
Use of concentrating thermodynamic solar generation methods, whose level of maturity and economic performance potential appear to us to be sufficiently high, requires a good understanding of the sun’s diffused and direct radiation. We recommend recording the sun’s radiation over a minimum period of one year at potentially available sites where such plants could be erected and where there is known to be a high level of direct radiation.
For methanisable waste (from the food processing industry, from households and canteens, from cultivation, pig breeding, etc.), we recommend that the potential be evaluated, particularly for centralised applications.
With regard to lignocellulosic biomass, in particular trees and other plants which grow rapidly, there should be some technical potential. We recommend evaluation on a case-by-case basis, particularly with regard to the types of terrain (land constraints, profitability for the land owners, willingness to plant with long-term supply contracts at index-linked prices, etc.). Cf. also recommendation no. 5 above.
With thermal energy from the sea an interesting long-term solution, and several programmes having recently been resurrected (on La Réunion for example), we suggest recording temperature profiles down to depths of around 1 000 m at different sites.
Depending on the costs and the choices to be made, we could also recommend completing measurement activities already carried out on wave resources in the knowledge that wave generation technologies will certainly reach maturity in 10 to 20 years.

Recommendation no. 10. Monitor CO2 capture and energy technologies using micro-organisms (micro-algae)
Criteria: monitor technology of systems with high potential
Timeline: long term
The diversity and capacity of micro algae and cyanobacteria to adapt in diverse environmental and sometimes hostile conditions means that they are of major interest as organisms capable of assimilating inorganic carbon such as atmospheric CO2 and converting it using light into organic matter and extracting the oxygen. There is therefore double interest: CO2 storage and a fuel source.
Studies, still at the embryonic stage and destined as long-term research, are attempting to lift the many scientific and technological barriers that exist and conduct a complete analysis of the life cycle.
With the current state of the technology, the growth of these micro-organisms can be managed by managing changes to cultivation conditions: sun, very large exposed surface area (open basins or tubes), supply of CO2 in sufficient localised proportion close to an emissions site. N.-C. thus has lots of things in its favour for the installation of photobioreactors suited to assimilating inorganic carbon dioxide.
Producing biofuels from these algae is, however, altogether more complex. One option would be to methanise them and then purify the gas that is produced. However this system is currently not sufficiently attractive from an economic aspect.
Producing vegetable oils is even more complex. The selection of algae varieties or development of genetically modified micro-organisms, water pumping, drying, the extraction and handling of oils and recovery of the hydrogen produced are all immature technologies and still little understood.
In the medium or long term, algae will probably provide one the solutions to CO2capture. It is imperative to start thinking deeply about this in the context of the specific biodiversity of N.-C.
The benefits provided in N.-C. are apparent (hours of sunshine, space…), but progress with this still immature technology needs to be monitored.
As a result, given the long-term potential of this system to be used for multiple applications (energy production and CO2 capture), we recommend monitoring technical developments.

Section 3. Emissions and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in New Caledonia

Recommendation no. 1. Create a technical centre for energy management and greenhouse gas emissions
Criteria: facilitate the preparation of proposals to manage energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in relation to policy decisions imposed by the government of N.-C.
This recommendation concerns the first four sections, and in particular the choices that N.-C. could make in terms of energy and greenhouse gas emissions. In order to manage greenhouse gas emissions, it is obvious that actions cannot be restricted to the energy sector and forests.
This cell will also need to update the various records of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in N.-C. This centre should also be able to serve as the focal point for all technical questions relating to energy and climate, and monitor international negotiations.
Adapting to climate change could also be handled, for example, at the level of the Provinces by organising dialogue between this centre and the bodies charged with adaptation.
Following the oil shocks, most countries and regions have established energy management agencies. Their scope has now been expanded to manage green-house gas emissions.
This centre will clearly need to have a good understanding of both the local constraints and the possibilities as well as the approvals negotiation process to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in the context of the United Nations.
The government of N.-C. will be in a position to make its choices on the basis of the work done by this centre. This centre will thus need to be capable of formulating requests for more precise and more specific experts’ reports, and author or co-author specifications for specific studies such as, for example, the use of imported wood to replace part of the coal that is imported, cf. recommendation no. 3.
Actions to be taken will then need to be prioritised, for and with the decisionmakers, depending on the costs of these actions and their impact (commercial balance, energy security, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions), local technical capacities (businesses, after sales services, tradesmen, etc.), and the social and economic constraints and opportunities in N.-C. The results of external experts’ reports (such as the Development Research Institute (IRD) experts’ presentation, or the MAP presentation on forests) will need to be taken into account and passed through the local level for review. It is therefore essential that this cell accumulate information and expertise surrounding all these issues over the long term.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To fail to establish such a cell by seizing only on external experts’ reports.
Comment
This suggestion relates to the entire report.

Recommendation no. 2. Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases not from fossil energies (CFCs and their substitutes, methane, etc.)
Criteria
: reduce greenhouse gas emissions other than from CO2 as a result of energy savings and renewable energies
These greenhouse gases have a warming potential greater than that of CO2 and do not generally allow for direct fossil energy savings.
- If CFC emissions itemised under the Montreal protocol decline, emissions from their substitutes increase as Interprofessional Technical Centre for Studies in Atmospheric Pollution (Citepa) inventories demonstrate. These substitutes are itemised under the climate change convention and also have a high warming potential.
- Methane. The radiative effect of global greenhouse gases needs to be halved by 2050 in order to stabilise the climate. However, the global warming potential of methane relative to CO2 is greater over 50 years than it is over 100 years. It therefore becomes more important to reduce these methane emissions. Nevertheless, there is currently no census of these emissions (cf. also “Emissions and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in New Caledonia”). The priority should thus be to eliminate the methane from landfill by flaring the gas as quickly as possible and recycling it where this can be justified economically, which will be the case particularly when greenhouse gas taxes are high enough. With livestock, it would be a case of feeding animals well in order to reduce emissions per kg of milk and meat, and to increase the quantity of grazing livestock per hectare.
There appear to be few SF6 and N20 emissions from industry.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To think that the Montreal protocol will deal with eliminating the effects of fluorocarbons.
To think that reducing local milk and meat output by importing these perishables will reduce global methane emissions from enteric fermentation.
Considering only bioenergy generation without taking into account agricultural output and changes in land use.
Comments
Energy management enables the consumption of electricity (CO2 of coal) and of fuel (CO2 of fuel oil) to be reduced, cf. “New energy production and storage technology”. The recommendations relating to CO2 reductions from metal processing plants arising from process improvements at the same time allow energy consumption to be reduced, bringing trade balance benefits as well as benefits for the end user, certainly considering returns on investment in the longer term.
Variations in greenhouse gas emissions, and CO2 in particular, from rural areas (storage in forests, agriculture, mining land, biomass production for energy, etc.) are considered in recommendation 3.
Substituting coal in metal processing plants with imported biomass complemented by local biomass is dealt with in recommendation no. 4.
The geological storage of CO2 which does not generate any fossil energy savings (on the contrary, it increases consumption) can be found in recommendation no. 5.
All the considerations and recommendations concerning N.-C.’s involvement in stabilising the climate via the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the tools derived from this convention (Kyoto and Copenhagen protocols, etc.) on the other hand feature in “New Caledonia’s international integration”.

Recommendation no. 3. Create a New Caledonian centre for the recovery of agricultural and forest land as well as food and non-food biomass
Criteria
: requirements of the climate change convention and Kyoto protocol, biomass production or carbon storage
1. Determine net CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from anthropic sources resulting from land use and changes in use under the Climate Change Convention on the one hand and under the Kyoto protocol and any potential post-Kyoto protocol on the other.
Land will be carved out in accordance with articles 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto protocol and any potential post-Kyoto protocol in order to quantify the greenhouse gas credits and debits attributable to the different territories while taking into account the perimeters under consideration according to commitments made either with France, or as a separate entity, according to local preferences.
2. Establish a New Caledonian centre that is dedicated to producing and recycling food and non-food biomass from agriculture and forestry. This could, for example, be supported and led by the Caledonian Agricultural Institute (IAC), and at the same time consider the economic, social and environmental aspects of such production as well as putting together prospective scenarios for land use in N.-C.
3. Reduce net greenhouse gas emissions either by increasing carbon stores in rural areas or by producing more biomass for energy. This will mean having a record of changes in land use and conducting regular measurements to determine changes in carbon stores in particular.
In order to improve the greenhouse gas footprint, we also recommend mobilising 3 or 4 local researchers, probably from the Caledonian Agricultural Institute (IAC), to conduct research and trails in the following areas:
- Study of the true options available in the production of lignous or herbaceous biomass for energy generation: by compiling a register of the results already obtained, including failures, and validating them scientifically, etc.; by establishing new plots of land for trials, taking into account the results already obtained, the prospects for lignous for herbaceous and harvests while considering local land use projects. This assumes that this aspect will be studied and will provide a clear vision of priorities (more autonomous with regard to energy, feed or the supply of timber) or increase carbon stocks in forests (provided these stocks can reasonably be protected).
- Develop less onerous methods of “reinflating” forest vegetation using techniques to be adapted to local conditions and using local species. Inspiration could certainly be taken from elsewhere, but it would be wrong to economise on local research and experimentation.
- Maintain carbon stocks in forests by restricting fires (a fire research programme has already been committed with the National Research Agency (ANR) with teams from N.-C.). The general public should also be made aware of the importance of maintaining carbon stores.
This will require better mobilisation of both the forestry services and agronomic and forestry research as well as allocating appropriate human and equipment resources to them.
■ On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To take an interest only in increasing carbon stores in the vegetation, particularly in forests, and thinking that these stores could largely compensate for emissions from nickel production, or thinking that carbon stocks in forests can be increased indefinitely.
To think that it is possible to achieve large increases in stocks on mining land.
■ Comment
A commitment to start work with the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing has been made. However, what has been collated to-date remains insufficient at this stage to be able to comply with the requirements of the Convention, and in particular of the Kyoto protocol.

Recommendation no. 4. initiate a prefeasibility study on the possibilities of importing wood partly complemented by local biomass to replace imported coal
Criteria
: reduce CO2 emissions from large municipal power plants by partially substituting coal and oil with biomass.
Producing nickel and generating electricity using coal are very intensive in terms of CO2 per tonne of nickel or per MWh.
Renewed wood and biomass enable greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced, particularly when these are used in place of coal.
There is an additional cost compared with coal but for electricity generation stations and large municipal power plants, this additional cost will compensated as soon as a tonne of CO2 reaches a sufficient value such as, for example, on the European emissions rights market in 2008.
It should be noted that greenhouse gas emissions from the transport of wood by ship are generally low. Collection opportunities close to ports in neighbouring counties (New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, etc.) thus need to be identified, or even in countries farther afield.
It is also necessary to:
- examine the possibility of agreeing long-term supply contracts with potential supplier countries;
- consider the logistics (reserve storage space, conditioning and possibly reconditioning imported and local biomass, ship unloading mechanisms and means of transferring biomass to the municipal power plant, etc.) ;
- study technical modifications to installations (many installations can use up 20% biomass with some coal without large-scale modifications).
the best form in which to transport biomass should also be established (compacted branches and residues, shavings, granules, etc.).
Two steps should be considered:
– an initial step which in principle applies with immediate effect and which would aim only at partial substitution of coal in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
– a second step which would probably apply only after 2020, when CO2 capture and storage are achievable, so as to achieve negative CO2 emissions.
■ On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To think that the emissions resulting from transporting wood by ship will cancel out all the gains that could be obtained by coal with biomass.
To make the initial step dependent on the feasibility of geological storage.
■ Comment
Using biomass in place of coal may supplement the reduction in emissions that can be achieved by improving processes at the plant level (cf. the recommendations, under “New energy production and storage technology”) and, at a later stage, the geological storage of CO2 (cf. recommendation no. 5).

Recommendation no. 5. Conduct research into the geological storage of CO2 emitted by large installations, particularly in rocks in New Caledonia
Criteria
: this is an important programme, but over the longer term: if the geological storage of CO2 is developed and implemented, it will be impossible to stabilise the climate by 2050
Whatever happens, thought needs to be given now to setting aside areas for the installation of CO2 capture systems in factories and electricity generating stations.
If it is possible to also link systems to the use of biomass as a substitute for coal, thought now also needs to be given to setting aside biomass storage space (cf. recommendation no. 3)
N.-C. will be able to benefit from technological progress throughout the world for the capture of CO2 at plants and factories.
Next, getting rid of CO2 needs to be considered. If storage were not possible in New Caledonia, it would have to be transported by ship to sites abroad, perhaps to Australia.
The complete system could become economically acceptable after 2020.
The geological substrate of N.-C. appears to be particularly favourable to experimentation with innovative systems of storage in peridotite. This requires further research and development, including to reduce the costs of storage which could not take place elsewhere.
We currently do not know which systems will emerge as the most promising, the weakest and the least burdensome. It is therefore important that we recommend new and extended research not only to ensure that storage in these rocks is successful, but that it is successful at low cost and, if possible, to avoid having to transport CO2 abroad.
■ On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To think that research into storage conducted elsewhere is sufficient (the situation is different in the case of capture).
■ Comment
Research is already underway, in particular with the University, the National Research Agency (ANR) and the nickel manufacturers. This work needs to be continued, however, with special interest accorded to peridotite.

Section 4. New Caledonia’s international integration

Recommendation no. 1. Establish a local skills centre with a regional focus on energy and climate
Criteria:
- low cost measure to extract the best of existing skills;
- monitoring essential for medium and long term activities
In order to clarify the decisions taken in relation to energy, we should look to the body of knowledge built up systematically and then monitored during a period of change in relation to the regional partners. Changes in the main regional powers and the small island nations must also be monitored, and issues regarding energy volumes, mining activities and greenhouse gas emissions tackled.
To-date, there has been little impartial study into these changes. In particular, there is a gap in studies into economic agents’ public policies and strategies.
The University of N.-C. and research organisations such the Development Research Institute (IRD) could be asked to establish a knowledge base to this end.
Comment
This work could also serve to provide further support to the actions for consideration in recommendation no. 5 in the “What framework for an energy and climate policy to support the development of New Caledonia?” section.

Recommendation no. 2. Consider all the options to integrate New Caledonia in climate negotiations
Criteria: decisions need to be taken in the short term in a complex context and with major consequences for N.-C.
N.-C. is not for the moment concerned by the Kyoto protocol despite the fact that because of its nickel activities, the country emits high volumes of green-house gases.
The position of the region’s States is in flux, particularly against Australia’s decision to ratify the Kyoto protocol. Moreover, the small island States feel under particular threat from climate change.
The government of N.-C. cannot ignore these issues, and needs to consider the different options to integrate itself in climate negotiations in dialogue with local partners.
Three main scenarios are possible: N.-C. could align itself with France’s positioning, it could negotiate specific quotas with France, or it could forward its own proposal.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To maintain a non-explicit status quo: this is not tenable. This risks leading to tensions with the other States in the region and/or accusations of climate dumping because of converting ore to nickel.
Comments
It is important to emphasise that the method of calculating emissions per inhabitant is not appropriate for small island States with industrial activities such as, for example, Iceland or Greenland.
Failure to clarify this point would complicate the actions set out in recommendation no. 3.

Recommendation no. 3. Implement a powerful and consistent campaign with the French diplomatic service in the area of energy and climate
Criteria: medium-term action which needs to be consistent with the other approaches put forward.
N.-C. participates with France in different regional forums and there are bilateral collaborations already in place.
Taking what is already in place will reinforce the actions put forward in the other recommendations, particularly in the areas of research and education, developing innovative technologies for energy generation and storage and CO2 capture and storage.
N.-C. can thus put forward its own activities and experiences to the small island states.
Multiple collaborative relationships could be considered with Australia, bringing together stakeholders from N.-C. and mainland France, particularly in the areas of CO2 storage.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To leave everything to the French diplomatic service.
To forget to emphasise that calculations of greenhouse gases per inhabitant do not take account of the specifics of, and are inadequate for, small island states with some industrial activity and take into account only the emissions in the territory under consideration.
Comment
See also the other recommendations, particularly in the first three sections, for energy management and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Recommendation no. 4. Reinforce energy security on the regional framework
Criteria: reinforce energy security
It is better to view the security of energy supplies regionally since neighboring countries, Australia in particular, are in a similar situation to N.-C. in terms of hydrocarbons, i.e. the need to import oil products.
Emerging countries in the South Pacific are looking at energy security issues and crisis management within the scope of Apec (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation). N.-C. would be interested in taking part in these forums.
If there are problems with the supply of oil products, sharing management of strategic reserves with neighbouring countries could prove advantageous. N.- C. should also check stock levels, and consider increasing these in line with IEA storage recommendations (90 days).
It seems that the security of coal supplies can be guaranteed through market mechanisms and the strategies adopted by private businesses.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To reply on developments in hydrocarbon extraction in N.-C. to ensure energy security from local production.

Section 5. What framework for an energy and climate policy promoting the development of New Caledonia

Recommendation no. 1. Initiate a process to define an energy and climate policy
Priority criteria: organise a follow-up to the experts’ report to develop an energy and climate strategy and provide a framework to the various stakeholders’ initiatives.
■ Initiate a process to define an energy policy linked to the climate policy which:
- triggers a structured experts’ report on as local a basis as possible using the results of this experts’ report supplemented by more precise studies on the points that merit it in accordance with the main approaches and general objectives agreed;
- is legally controlled by a public authority;
- brings together all the stakeholders involved within a steering committee.
The structure of the experts’ report on climate and greenhouse gases can be decided by establishing a technical centre (cf. the recommendation “Create a technical centre for energy management and greenhouse gas emissions”). The expertise of the government, operators, research agencies and the University should be taken into account.
It is the role of a government authority to drive the process; this could be either a department such as New Caledonia’s geological bureau (Dimenc) which is supported and recognised in the climate sector, or an autonomous authority in the form of an agency developed following the pattern of other countries. It is essential to ensure that there is a link between driving forward agricultural policies and driving forward forestry policies.
Links between the stakeholders involved: operators, municipal businesses, customary authorities... are a necessity.
■ Transform the conclusions of the energy policy definition process and help to protect the climate by means of a Congress decision.
With regard to energy in particular, article 49 of the planning law on implementation of the “Grenelle de l’Environnement” environmental round table prescribes certain energy-related approaches for N.-C. N.-C. could rely on these approaches, and/or define new ones since this article is not mandatory in this regard in this transferred domain.
On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
The experts’ report does not provide a plan of action, but rather the components of one. Effective use of an experts’ report assumes that will it will continue to form part of the process: the experts are unable to integrate all the areas which the stakeholders manage in N.-C.

Recommendation no. 2. Initiate definition of a territorial climate plan for each Province, for Greater Nouméa and the VKP (Voh-Koné-Pouembout) region
Priority criteria:

- a tool to clarify the action to be taken;
- Greater Nouméa has the highest level of energy consumption by property, service, industry and transport.
The territorial energy/climate plans are one of the tools favoured by France for implementation of the “Grenelle de l’Environnement” environmental round table. Article 56 in relation to French regional districts and overseas communities stipulates that these shall “at the same time commit to a consumption management programme which will translate into the adoption, with effect from 2012, of an energy and climate plan in each territorial community”.
In N.-C., Greater Nouméa is a crucial issue in terms of energy, domestic, indus-trial and transport consumption, including town planning aspects in particular. Implementing a territorial energy and climate plan, for which there is already an Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) methodology (Developing and implementing a territorial climate plan, a guide to methodology, ADEME, April 2009) and feedback from the mainland (Nantes and Grenoble among others), would yield three key benefits:
- provide a precise account of the sources of CO2 emissions and energy consumption on a detailed scale (for example schools, public buildings and public services, transport companies, etc.) and as a result improve understanding of energy;
- involve a large number of stakeholders and incite public debate (press, television, etc.) on the topic;
- provide a consistent framework for diagnostics and actions. In the case of VKP which is in complete development, this is even essential.
■ On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To think that an energy and climate plan for N.-C. could replace a local energy and climate plan (provincial and by metropolitan area): the provinces and metropolitan areas call for a more detailed analysis of the various situations involving specific courses of action.

Recommendation no. 3. Incorporate non-food biomass production into development policies to reduce New Caledonia’s dependence in terms of food, forestry and energy, at the same time helping to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions
Priority criteria
: autonomy in food, autonomy in energy, increased biomass production and reduced greenhouse gas emissions are closely interdependent
Timeline: medium term
Approaches to a food and forestry policy which includes energy issues
1. For biomass in areas currently afforested
- Improve access to allow the biomass to be harvested. It is crucial that biomass can be harvested from forests. Otherwise, the only solution is to consider increasing carbon stores by leaving trees in the forest. Whatever the case, it is assumed that carbon stores are protected by an effective forest fires management policy.
- Where forest biomass can be harvested, thought can be given to increasing harvests provided reforestation policies have been developed to restore stocks and renew production. This assumes that land owners are motivated, particularly financially, obtain sufficiently lucrative guaranteed orders and agree to sign long-term biomass supply contracts with client companies (industry and Enercal) who will invest to use the biomass produced. If this is not the case, it would be better to harvest only timber which would then be converted in a sawmill (requiring a lower investment than a municipal power plant) and for which the payment made to the forest owner is currently higher than recycling biomass into energy. With a higher price per tonne of CO2, this situation could, however, change.
2. For the production of biomass on agricultural land
Such production could be in competition with food production. According to the priorities (food, energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions) defined locally, the decision could be taken to increase agricultural output per ha (via higher yields and number of animals per ha), or to increase non-food production. In this latter case, the problem is similar to that with wood production except that in general, food production deliver higher yields more quickly than lignocellulosic production.
In terms of climate, what is best for the global climate (and not just the local foot print) needs to be established, and consistent, long-term policies implemented.
Experts from outside N.-C. can not tackle every aspect of this question.
■ On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
When considering potential conflicts regarding the use of a finite territory, the objective of improving the global climate needs to compare:
- an increase in the production of biomass for energy in the territory of N.-C ;
- the import of food products and timber.
It would be wrong to think that increasing biomass for energy is necessarily more virtuous: importing, while it may reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the terri-tory, is responsible by consumption for greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere…
To believe that reforestation of mining land will increase biomass production.
■ Comments
Accounting under the Kyoto protocol further complicates this approach. However it is hoped that a more satisfactory approach will emerge after 2012.

Recommendation no. 4. Start work to clarify the responsibilities of government-affiliated agencies with regard to the environment and impacts on the climate: competences need to be allocated in a way which is suited to these new challenges
Priority criteria:
according to the definition of approaches and objectives (recommendations nos. 1 and 2), the stakeholders need to be organised in a coherent way
Timeline: short term
Start work as quickly as possible to clarify the responsibilities of government-affiliated agencies with regard to the environment and impacts on the climate: competences need to be allocated in a way which is suited to these new challenges. This could result in a change in basic legislation.
There are two stumbling blocks in this area: confused responsibilities and the lack of resource. These stumbling blocks are well known and have been analysed for many years in N.-C. (cf. the recent NC2025 workshop 6 which expands on all the difficulties and promotes the riches and assets).
The key areas still to be worked on should be as follows:
- reorganise environmental competences to allow competences to be allocated at the N.-C. level, particularly in terms of everything to do with the cli-mate, but also to facilitate coordinated and harmonised action across the entire territory and all domains;
- introduce an amendment to the LO 99 which stipulates how environmental competences should be coordinated between the 4 levels of the communities (State, N.-C., Provinces and municipalities), with the opinion of an ad hoc Committee on which sit representatives from the 4 levels;
- allow environment-related laws to be enacted;
- harmonise regulation on an N.-C scale;
- appoint a leader for each sub-domain who will guide the others;
- increase human and financial resources (absolutely essential if things are to progress in the domain).
■ On the wrong track or “misguided idea”
To do nothing.

Recommendation no. 5. Define the priority of energy management, renewable energy development and emissions reduction activities by introducing cost and deadline for impact as criteria
Priority criteria
: work out the priority to be accorded to the various activities to be carried out by the parties above
Timeline: short term
We recommend that a specific study be conducted as a supplement to this experts’ opinion which would aim to establish an order of priority for all the actions proposed. This study should take all the recommendations made and arrange them according to pre-defined evaluation criteria reflecting the diversity of concerns that the stakeholders within N.-C. may have.
An initial classification has been included in the scope of this experts’ report in an attempt to indicate cross-disciplinary priorities beyond initial analysis, which is of necessity completed by sector. This work has been based on indicative criteria of potential savings or energy generation, and greenhouse gas emission reductions (importance of the resource) and costs (cost per kWh or per tonne saved).
If these two criteria are applied, certain actions should be seen as priority, in particular:
1. Energy management in industry.
2. Energy management in the domestic and service sectors (lighting, household appliances…).
3. A bonus-malus system for vehicles. 3.Increased use of solar water heaters.
4. The use of biomass in industry.
5. Heat regulation in homes.
…/…
However these two criteria are not the only ones to consider in order to establish an order of merit among all the routes recommended by the experts’ report. The study to be carried out will thus need to re-examine the options proposed by introducing supplementary dimensions to arrive at a more definitive list of priority actions.

Recommendation no. 6. Support industrial and service systems relating to energy generation and energy management tailored to the size of New Caledonia: training in trades, economic action to benefit business, access to suitable R&D potential
Priority criteria
: this is a proposal for structuring, but over the long term.
1. Training in the construction industry
Energy efficiency is not simply a question of techniques and technologies: achieving it also requires aware, and well-trained professionals.
Urban planners, primer contractors and businesses all have skills to develop. In particular:
Urban scale – seek support from the environmental committees formed under the Urban Environmental Analysis (AEU) which are able to simulate the impacts of climate (wind, sun).
New buildings – planning and assistance with works management.
Existing buildings – energy audit to optimise work undertaken and build up the best energy and environmental approaches to restoration.
The range of training available in this area, including both initial training and ongoing professional development, currently remains very poor.
The High Quality Environmental Standard (HQE) provides a good angle of attack to further update these practices. The most should be made of two areas of experience: Qualiclim in Guyana and Opticlim in La Réunion.
2. Economic action
Draw best benefit from the activities of organisations such as Oséo-Anvar, or the French Development Agency (AFD). N.-C. can also access aid to set up innovative businesses.
3. Access to R&D potential on key subjects across several areas:
- monitor technologies, how economic they are and their impacts, at the level of this experts’ report;
- participation in non-specific research programmes (industry…) ;
- put N.-C. forward as a research area (geological storage of CO2…) ; –provide resource in N.-C. across 3 topics: housing in a tropical context; establishing electrical networks with a high proportion of renewable energy; biomass production in a developed tropical country.
Take proper account of the strengths, but also the restrictions to skills, currently built up by the University and businesses or research agencies.

Recommendation no. 7. Rely on economic or regulatory tools to implement an energy policy in New Caledonia
Priority criteria: essential in implementing energy objectives with regard to recommendation no. 4
Timeline: short and medium term
The available tariff-related, fiscal and regulatory tools and their application to energy management (construction, transport and industry) and the development of new energy sources (for the Climate, cf. “New Caledonia’s international integration”, are:
1. The tariff signal reflecting costs:
- eliminate the fiscal gap between diesel and petrol and gradually reduce the subsidies which benefit certain categories of users;
- integrate a “coal value” element within the tariff signal;
- develop economic incentives to support emerging technological systems.
2. Energy labelling mechanisms
- for efficient household appliances;
- in the transport sector, energy labelling for vehicles, possibly linked to a bonus-malus system.
3. For energy sources
- adopt a system of guaranteed pricing along with a purchase obligation on the part of the distributor and tariff modulation to support certain systems as a priority;
- additional aid for investment.
Network connection problems which require specific action (regulation). In terms of producing domestic hot water from solar, international experience also suggests the routes that should be taken to support development of the system: incentives followed by generalisation through regulation.
The objectives defined for each of these areas must be accompanied by a system of monitoring.

Recommendation no. 8. Launch a programme of actions, education and awareness to bring about changed practices
Priority criteria
: a long-term structuring action but one which should commence as quickly as possible
Making citizens (who are the consumers), and sometimes producers, responsible in terms of energy first requires an initial step to get them to understand the concepts involved. The main concepts which need to be understood concern in particular:
■ definitions of energy and power;
■ the reality of energy resources;
■ and the environmental impacts associated with energy consumption, in particular greenhouse gas emissions.
To achieve this, we recommend training at different levels and for different audiences.
An initial step could be to train the trainers and/or lecturers, since teachers are the audience most likely to be capable of becoming trainers themselves. This will undoubtedly be the most delicate step since good incentives system will need to be sought along with the first trainers (ADEME, other competent persons in N.-C.: to be reviewed).
A call for candidates could be made on the initiative of the vice-chancellor of N.-C.
School syllabuses could henceforth include a small element of energy teaching. An initiative on the mainland, among others, is quoted in the full version of the report.
With regard to adult audiences, conferences for the general public and exhibition led by competent persons (ADEME personnel, others…) will undoubtedly be the best approach.

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