Fossil fuels scarcity

Our economic model is almost entirely based on the use of non renewable energies such as oil, gas, coil and uranium. These fossil fuel resources are limited, not to mention pollutant. On the other hand, the global demand keeps growing and we will sooner or later face a shortage of fossil fuels. EDF’s Research and Development team is expecting the early signs of such a crisis around 2020.

Meanwhile, the massive use of these energy resources triggers an increase of greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon gas. This results in global warming.  Climate change has already started and it’s too late to back it up. However, it is still time to prevent the damage from being too important. In order to avoid a global economic crisis, the control of our energy consumption and the use of renewable energies are the only acceptable solutions environmentally, economically and socially speaking.

energy’s future as seen by EDF R&D

Why SWAC is a promising solution

Over the past twenty years, an important cap has been passed. The “Pioneers era” validated the technical feasibility of the SWAC technology. However, most of the projects were prestigious and the economic profitability was only a secondary issue. In order to avoid the SWAC being only a prestigious and expensive technology, we aim at cometing with regular AC systems. Therefore, several research axis are under study :

  • Fluid dynamics so we can increase the water debit in the pipelines.
  • Marine engineering to adapt land procedures to marine environment and avoid expensive techniques used in the oil industry.
  • Work on heat transfer devices in order to be able to efficiently use “warmed water” (between 12 and 18°C : 285 to 291 °K) which is not used in regular SWAC systems.

The specific case of islands is especially looked upon given that energy producers are also responsible for the control of electrical systems. Our customers are therefore extremely interested in promoting energy efficiency as it provides an answer to the demanding needs of a territory with sharp growth and high production costs (due to the long distance separating them from manufacturers and suppliers)