It is a forced conversion to invent a new future. Domestic fuel professionals are accelerating the deployment of a new substitute fuel made in part with rapeseed.
Today, fuel oil represents the third energy of the French. It is used by 3.5 million households, 85% of which are single-family homes.
Biofioul is already available in the Lyon region, in Brittany, in Normandy and in the Grand Est region. It should be everywhere in 2022. The incorporation will nevertheless be gradual: around 30% first per liter of fuel oil, then 50% by 2030 and even 100% in 2040, like what is already being done in the Principality of Monaco.
« There will be no problem with resources, because France is one of the leading producers of rapeseed in Europe, and its use as energy does not compete with human food. », Explains Frédéric Plan, the general delegate of the French federation of fuels, fuels and heating (FF3C). According to him, the farmers (80,000 produce it) and the 500 cooperatives are very demanding, because for them it is new outlets.
« As of today, all the new boilers are already adapted to operate with this biofuel and for the current fleet, changing the burner should be sufficient. », Says Frédéric Plan.
The ban on new installations
The sector, which represents around 1,300 distributors, has no choice and is doomed to change, that is to say to generalize biofuel. The government is preparing a decree banning the installation of the most CO emitting heating and hot water systems2, that is to say more than 250 g per kWh of energy generated. Which directly targets fuel oil.
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The measure concerns new housing from 1is July 2021 and the existing fleet from 1is January 2022. ” Repair of existing equipment remains possible », However specifies the decree.
Professionals hoped that the ax will not fall until 2024. But the government wants to move quickly. The building sector alone generates 23% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in France and fuel oil is by far the most polluting heating system. For the needs of a house, it thus represents the consumption of three cars on average per year, according to data from the ministry.
But it is difficult to go without fuel, at least quickly, even if the market is structurally in decline. Each year, on average, 40,000 new boilers are installed while approximately 100,000 are replaced by other systems.
In November 2018, the Prime Minister Edward Philippe thus affirmed that ” no more French people will use an individual oil boiler to heat themselves within ten years ”, In 2028.
This will remain a simple announcement because the decree in preparation already formalizes a certain number of exceptions, where alternatives to fuel oil are technically complicated. These are mainly rural areas, which are not connected to the natural gas network or which do not have an electricity network capable of supporting the installation of heat pumps, or even new radiators.
New aid in sight
Households could nevertheless install wood pellet boilers, or even hybrid heat pumps, that is to say, also using fossil fuel. But in all these cases, installation costs remain high, a sensitive issue for many modest households using fuel oil.
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Conversion aids do exist, but the question of their increase should quickly come back to the table. The fuel oil sector also requires rapeseed, which is currently around 15% more expensive than conventional fuel oil, to have lower taxation, in order to be competitive. The stated objective is that in 2028, all the installations will run on biofuel.