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"Understanding & Acting" conference

Raw materials / energy and energy transition

Lecture by Olivier Vidal, CNRS researcher at the Grenoble Institute of Earth Sciences. After specializing in the thermodynamic and kinetic modeling of mineral reactions, Olivier Vidal is now focusing his research on the link between energy and raw materials in the context of the energy transition towards a low-carbon society.

Abstract: The energy transition requires building new infrastructure for energy production, storage, transportation, and use that consumes many "basic" raw materials and rarer substances. The production of these raw materials requires significant amounts of energy. The raw materials-energy issues are therefore inseparable. The evolution towards low-carbon energies must also take place in a context of strong growth in demand (rapid emergence of developing countries, growing urbanization and new technologies). In this tense context in which the stakes of raw material and energy supply are at stake, two opposing visions are now confronting each other: some anticipate a shortage in the course of the century, while others assert that technological evolution and the exploitation of deep or offshore resources as well as recycling will make it possible to maintain the increase in production observed over the last century (3-5%/year). Dynamic modeling shows that there is no single solution, but it allows a better understanding of the coupling between reserves-primary production and recycling-energy savings and a comparison of the impacts of different global energy scenarios.