for its 10 th edition Earth hour or hour planet, invites citizens worldwide to turn off their lights for sixty minutes Saturday, March 10. This symbolic event, initiated by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), aims to mobilize the world against global warming by encouraging everyone to his level, citizens, business or community to achieve energy savings. Lighting accounts for a fifth of global electricity consumption.
20 h 30 local time, Sydney will kick off by turning off the Harbour Bridge. It is in this city had organized the first edition of the event in 2007, expanded globally from 2009.
From Australia to the west coast of the United States, iconic landmarks plunge in the dark: Egyptian pyramids, Eiffel Tower, Times Square. In 2015, 1200 monuments and 170 countries participated in the operation.
This year, Earth Hour has a special dimension. “This is the first global mobilization after COP21, we must keep the momentum mobilization ” explains Pierre Cannet, head of climate and energy program at WWF France.
“ the worst thing is that the COP21 parenthesis closes and that we continue as before. Commitments must be maintained and consolidated rapidly to 2016 the year of consistency “confirms Pascal Canfin, Director General of WWF France. The NGO hopes to revive the mobilization ahead of the Paris agreement’s signing ceremony on April 22, Earth Day, at UN headquarters in New York.
Earth Hour detractors highlight the ineffectiveness of this action. “ The aim is not to save electricity in the evening of Earth Hour but to trigger discussion , answers Pascal Canfin. The more we talk about climate, the more we are mobilized. But of course, this event is not enough, we must go further and translated by a stronger commitment. “
A possible blackout
Every year the same question: if we rekindle our lights together, n ‘there he is no risk of network saturation? “ No ” replies John Paul Roubin, dispatching manager of the electricity transmission network (RTE).
The electricity grid must constantly be in balance, and RTE fits. “ must anticipate the behavior of the French and Earth Hour is not necessarily easy to predict says Mr Roubin. For Earth Hour, there is generally a variation of a hundred megawatts (MW), the equivalent of a city of 100,000 inhabitants. Demonstrating some mobilization . ” In comparison, a March Saturday, consumption is about 63 000 MW. “ The change of energy consumed remains in the RTE leeway, no risk, therefore, blackout” says Mr. Roubin.