Another reason photovoltaics is a technology of the future is its flexibility of use, including in ground-level solar arrays, solar roofs, shade screens, covered walkways and porches
Promoting photovoltaics by setting the example
To demonstrate the utility of solar energy to as broad a segment of the public as possible, we decided in 2008 to equip five of our sites — Pau, Lacq, the Provence refinery and a chemical plant in France and the Martinique refinery in a French overseas department — with photovoltaic solutions in keeping with commitments we made at the time of the Grenelle Environment Forum in France.
A total of €15 million will be spent over two years on these projects, which are being managed by Total Énergie Solaire, a specially created subsidiary. Although their primary purpose is educational, the projects will also give us expertise as an operator of solar sites that we will be able to transfer to other operations of the same type.
Other Total sites already employ solar energy. In Lussagnet, southern France, our subsidiary TIGF’s new buildings make extensive use of photovoltaic solar energy, as part of a comprehensive process that earned them the first High Environmental Quality (HEQ®) certification awarded in the Midi-Pyrenees region.
Opened in 2008, the Parsac service station in southwestern France is a precursor of the retail outlets of the future, whose features include reinforced building insulation, photovoltaic solar modules connected to the grid, hot water produced using solar thermal panels, a heat pump and natural cooling.
In Europe, Africa and the Middle East, our service station networks are working to integrate solar energy in general and photovoltaics in particular into their plans to upgrade or build stations.
Promoting access to electricity for isolated communities
Electrification of a village
in the Kwazulu Natal in South Africa
Photovoltaic panels bring much more than electricity to developing countries and the isolated rural communities that benefit from them. Lighting, power for appliances, refrigeration, telecommunications, water pumping and supply, and sanitation radically improve living conditions.
To support our host communities, we have been promoting such decentralized rural electrification solutions for several years, by striving to conduct projects for — but most of all with — the people concerned.
Since its creation in 2001, Temasol, a Moroccan subsidiary of Tenesol, has equipped nearly 25,500 households.
In South Africa, KwaZulu Energy Services Company (KES), of which Total is a shareholder, has been bringing power to the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal — where 8,000 isolated households now have their own decentralized systems — and Eastern Cape, where if all goes well 26,000 families soon will.
Other rural electrification projects are either in progress, as in Venezuela, or are under study, as in Yemen and Indonesia.