Renewable energy, or green energy, is now among the key words used daily in response to the current energy and ecological crisis. These concepts are familiar and their definition appeals to common sense: as a rule, energy is considered «renewable» when its extraction from the environment can be conceived as sustainable, that is, when it does not consume resources that cannot be regenerated at a human temporal scale. Yet renewable energy still constitutes a very small part of the overall consumption of energy; the main obstacles to its development are its storage, transportation, cost and availability. But, what if the question were not well formulated? In other words, is the notion of energy –whether or not renewable– a pertinent tool to identify and understand the today’s major societal and environmental issues?
Renewable energy, fossil fuel, energy paradigms, concept of energy