Tout starts from a good intention: in order to better inform citizens about the impact of their energy consumption, to bring about a change in behavior if necessary and to avoid power cuts, the manager of the Transport Network of Electricity (RTE) has set up a device called Ecowatt. The principle is simple – too perhaps –: an energy forecast, which reports in real time on the level of electricity available in France.
Since the beginning of October, given the onset of winter which is approaching as much as it is worrying, the main television channels (France TV and TF1 in the lead) have relayed these cards in their news bulletins, daily, as we follow the weather on the beaches in summer.
The color code used is also very simple, even too simple: the regions will turn red when the electrical system becomes very tense and subject to cuts; orange when the system is tight and the use of eco-gestures is highly recommended; and finally, green, as at present, when we can all be satisfied with a “normal consumption”.
The difficult use of ” The point “ of consumption
This is precisely where the drama is played out! Because a “normal consumption”average, without any particular change in habits, has actually led us for years to the penurious context in which we find ourselves today, but also to the ecological disaster that we barely touch.
However, in the urgency of the current geopolitical crisis, it is every day, at all times and even more so in winter, whether it is mild or cold, day or night, sun or wind, that it is to lower our consumption to reduce the use of modulating production – that is to say gas, directly or indirectly Russian, burned in thermal power stations, in France, Germany or elsewhere, bought at exorbitant prices by putting our children in debt.
Admittedly, RTE’s role is more to ensure that there are no cuts (at ” The point “ of consumption) than to the national interest in the broad sense. But giving a “green light” to energy consumption, focusing only on the passage of the ” point “ for which the orange and red lights are reserved, can even aggravate the situation in the event of a persistent cold snap. Because for “pass the tip”it will also be necessary to have sufficient gas stocks available at this time.
Do the right things at the right time
What will happen then if this gas has been burnt carelessly during the green light periods? “The simple is always false, what is not is useless”, wrote Paul Valéry. In wanting to make it very simple, RTE has also chosen to be very wrong. If we can understand the educational virtues of this color code on the form, it is deplorable that in substance, RTE does not take advantage of this exceptional momentum, during which all eyes are turned towards this subject long relegated to the background of civic concerns, to embrace an educational mission of general interest.
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