Antoine Fontaine soutient sa thèse

Antoine Fontaine defends his thesis

From the source à the resource. Territories, heritages and cooperation around the valorisation of solar energy in Rhone-Alpes

Thesis directed by Olivier LABUSSIERE, Alain NADAÏ and Olivier SOUBEYRAN.


Abstract :

This research focuses on the construction of renewable energy resources as well as the construction of energy transition sustainability in the wake of the new geography of resources (Bridge, Castree). This research argues that an energy resource emerges from a set of relations woven between an energy source and a value perspective progressively associated to it. Thus, resource qualities are not given by the physical characteristics of the energy source (e.g. the diffuse and abundant solar radiation) but by the relations (material, social, spatial) woven around this source to associate it to several materialities (e.g. the electric grid, the roofs, the landscape) in order to construct its value. Within this framework, the energy resources sustainability is presented as a relational quality that emerges while the “associated milieu” (Simondon) of photovoltaic projects is being developed.

The thesis is organized around an inquiry about the emergence of photovoltaic cooperative projects (i.e. the “centrales villageoises”) in the Rhône-Alpes region, which try to construct the solar energy resource in a collective and multidimensional manner (e.g. landscape, value redistribution) in the context of the early 2010s. The inquiry underlines that these projects rely on several heritages (e.g. networks of actors, skills and political visions) from a series of pioneering energy projects developed in Rhône-Alpes between the 1970s and the 1990s. Through these, the groupings of actors develop an ability to navigate in a national photovoltaic policy which does not seem facilitate their growth. Their contribution to the construction of sustainable energy resources rests on the ability of these collectives to constantly adapt themselves to overcome the many trials they face.


Jury :

  • Mme, Cyria EMELIANOFF, Professeure des universités, Université du Maine, Rapporteure
  • Mme, Marina FROLOVA, Profesora Titular de Universidad, Universidad de Granada, Rapporteure M.,
  • M., Olivier LABUSSIÈRE, Chargé de recherche, CNRS, Encadrant
  • Mme, Corinne LARRUE, Professeure des universités, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Membre
  • M., Alain NADAÏ, Directeur de recherche, CNRS, Directeur
  • M., François-Mathieu POUPEAU, Chargé de recherche, CNRS, Membre
  • M., Olivier SOUBEYRAN, Professeur des universités, Université Grenoble-Alpes, Directeur

Antoine Fontaine
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