We at Enerdata are proud to share our partnership with two local publications based here in Grenoble, France, where we have our headquarters. The Encyclopedia of the Environment and the Encyclopedia of Energy both bring high-quality, scientific writing by academic experts to the public in multiple languages.
Through our partnership, Enerdata is sharing a selection of these articles here, which we think will be of use to our clients, partners, and readers.
Articles from both Encyclopedias on a variety of topics are available below in both English and French. More articles will be added regularly, so check back often!
From the discovery of the greenhouse effect to the IPCC
If today climate change is a well-known phenomenon for the majority of the population and is well understood by scientists, it is once again the result of a series of scientific discoveries and advances. From the discovery of the greenhouse effect to the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it has taken several milestones to reveal the current risk and its magnitude.
Energy in India: the genesis of its powerful coal industry
India emits about 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 per year, or 7% of global emissions. Admittedly, for the moment, this is not at the same level as China (10 GtCO2/year), but the strong growth (5%/year) must be taken into account, as it shows no signs of slowing down. The country must satisfy the needs of an ever-larger population, which is already suffering from many disparities. To achieve this, it still relies heavily on an abundant local resource: coal. How did this industry develop? Can its expansion be reversed?
Photovoltaic solar power: technologies and their trajectory
Solar energy is taking an increasing place in the energy mix alongside other renewable energies. It can be used and transformed in various ways as required, either in thermal form or using photovoltaic panels. To this end, technologies have evolved considerably with the emergence of different processes that compete, replace and improve each other. The focus of this article is on photovoltaic technologies: How do they work and what are their evolution prospects?
Biofuels: is the future in microalgae?
In a world where we are gradually seeking to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, particularly hydrocarbons, biofuels are emerging as an alternative, notably for transportation. However, the technologies underlying this solution are not fully mature yet. Indeed, most biofuels are made from crops (such as rapeseed and sugar cane) and a large-scale development of such fuels is not conceivable, since it would compete with the current agricultural system, which is dedicated to food. Yet other types of biofuels, based on microalgae, have been developed. They could overcome this limitation, and become a preferred solution to replace our consumption of fossil fuels.
Climate change and ancient civilizations
Climate evolutions, favourable or not, were a determining factor in the rise or decline of the great ancient civilisations. Some of them managed to adapt to these climatic changes, thanks to their ingenuity, but other empires collapsed when the variations were too great. This is not unlike the situation of our own civilisation.
Economic theories in the face of the realities of environmental crises
Whatever the reasons (air pollution, CO2 emissions, etc.), a growing number of players seem to be gradually turning their backs on mineral coal. Among them are organisations from various backgrounds: financial sector players (banks, pension funds, etc.), energy and mining sector players (coal and electricity companies, etc.) and also States (notably the European Union). Despite this trend, coal funding is still readily available, and coal is expected to retain a significant market share in global energy consumption for a few decades to come.
The car of the future: competing energy technologies
Today's environmental issues weigh on the transport sector and there is a multiplication of projects to invent the car of the future. As in any innovation process, many different energy sources and technologies are competing. However, the technical aspect is only one element in the success of an innovation, which is part of a broader analysis grid with cost, availability, social acceptance, public policies... Where do we stand on producing the car of tomorrow, what direction is it taking and at what pace?
Natural disasters: when the environment becomes a threat
Frequent and severe heat waves, increased droughts, always more violent and sudden thunderstorms, and hailstorms: extreme weather events are multiplying as climate change intensifies, affecting more and more societies. How can science adapt its tools to better observe and predict these phenomena and help manage their impacts?
Geothermal energy, a source of green energy under our buildings
In the current energy transition context, geothermal energy represents a prime source of renewable and local energy for heating and cooling buildings. To harness this energy, energy geostructures are an innovative solution. They allow a significant reduction in installation costs compared to conventional technologies, since they exploit structures that are an integral part of building construction. This technology, which is still under development, is starting to be deployed in Europe and could well see a significant boom in the coming years.
Economic theory and environment: a divorce?
More and more voices are being raised to denounce the impacts of our societies on the environment and question past and current economic choices. The environment and the economy are pitted against each other. How do economic theories integrate (or not) environmental aspects? How have they evolved? Finally, are they now compatible with sustainable development?
Geothermal energy: a significant source of energy?
The general principle of geothermal energy is well known: drawing heat from the ground to meet energy needs. Geothermal energy can be used for heating, either individually or in a district heating network, and even to produce electricity under certain conditions. Discover in this article the physical mechanisms at the origin of this underground heat, different existing techniques to exploit it, as well as a new lead that could considerably increase the geothermal potential in France in particular.
There are a multitude of different types of air pollutants, both man-made and natural. These have had, and continue to have, adverse effects ranging from local to global in scale. Discover through this synthetic article the main aspects of these atmospheric pollutions, their history, and their consequences on the environment and health.