My work in the field of energy and natural resources is focused mostly on the management and the policy questions associated with their production, their extraction, their use and how these activities affect the rest of the society and the planet.
Even though these questions are fundamentally multidisciplinary, my approach is based on the physical aspect of these ressources and, in particular, the thermodynamical principles associated with their management and their use.
Here are a few of the projects currently underway in my group :
The arrival of shale gas on the north-american energy markets has profoundly perturbed the equilibrium between the various energy sources. In a few years, for example, the consumption of coal has fallen significantly while the demand for natural gas continues to grow thanks to a rich and relatively cheap local production.
These changes are not limited to North America. Shale gas are much more uniformly distributed around the globe than conventional gas and oil. Not surprisingly, therefore, a large number of countries, on all continents, are attempting to establish and exploit their resources.
Yet, despite the importance of shale gas production in the USA, which represents today around 40 % of the total gas production, very little information is available with respect to the local, regional, national and worldwide impacts of this production on environment. Such a lack of information does not reassure citizens, who, in most parts of the world, turn out to be much less receptive than their government with respect to this new energy source.
My work focuses on the effect of the exploitation of these non-conventional fossil fuels on the regional and worldwide energy market as well as on the response of the population towards an industrie for which little is known regarding its medium and long term impacts.
Over the last few years, I have been particularly interested in the Quebec’s and French cases, in comparison with the US developments.
Among my publications on the topic, I have written the first general public book on the question, with The shale gas revolution and I continue to follow this question closely.
A few publications on the topic
N. Mousseau, in Resources, empire and Labour. Crises, lessons and alternatives., D. Leadbeater, Eds. (Fernwood Publishing, Black Point, NS, 2014), p. 112-123.
N. Mousseau, in L’énergie à découvert, Mosseri, Rémy, Jeandel, Catherine, Eds. (CNRS Éditions, Paris, 2013), p. 345.
N. Mousseau, Enjeux de l’exploitation du gaz et de l’huile de schiste (rapport) (Conseil scientifique région d’Île-de-France, 2012; http://normandmousseau.com/publications/144.pdf), 33 pp.
N. Mousseau, La révolution des gaz de schiste (Éditions MultiMondes, 2010), 161 pp.
In the field of energy, Quebec is really a society distinct from the rest of the planet. For example, renewable energy represents 47 % of the energy consumed, well above the worldwide average, which oscillates around 15 %. Yes, in spite of this considerable achievement, because the total per capita energy consumption is one of the highest in the world, Quebecers are still some of the biggest consumers of oil and other fossil fuels.
In the context of climate change, what should Quebec do? How should it treat both its immense hydroelectric resources and its possible fossil fuels reserves, both conventional and non-conventional ?
I have looked at many aspects of these questions in my books Energy independence: For the future of Québec (L’avenir du Québec passe par l’indépendance énergétique) and The shale gas revolution (La révolution des gaz de schiste).
More recently, I had the honour of co-chairing the Commission on Energy Issues for Quebec in company of Roger Lanoue. Our report, published in February 2014, proposes a vast program to lead Quebec on the best transition energy pathway for its economy, its society and the environment.
A few of my texts on the topic
N. Mousseau, in Sortir le Québec du pétrole, (Ianik Marcil, Montréal, 2015), p. 103-110.
N. Mousseau, La maîtrise de l’énergie, une approche intégrée permettant au Québec de transformer à la fois sa consommation énergétique et de faire face à ses responsabilités environnementales, Cahier de la Chaire de recherche en développement des collectivités (CRDC), Série Conférences , 15-22 (2015).
N. Mousseau, Politique énergétique du Québec: la nécessité d’une référence de marché sur la valeur de l’électricité au Québec, L’Énergique 9, 6-9 (2015).
N. Mousseau, La politique québécoise de l'énergie: un pass en avant, trois en arrrière, Revue Vie Économique 6, 1-9 (2015).
C. Potvin, N. Mousseau, et 58 co-auteurs, Agir sur les changements climatique. Les solutions d'univeritaires canadiens et canadiennes/Acting on climate change. Solutions from Canadian Scholars (Dialogues pour un Canada vert/Dialogues for a sustainable Canada, 2015; http://normandmousseau.com/publications/173a.pdf).
R. Lanoue, N. Mousseau, Maîtriser notre avenir énergétique. Pour le bénéfice économique, environnemental et social de tous (Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques du Québec, 2014; http://consultationenergie.gouv.qc.ca), 310 pp.
N. Mousseau, coll., De la réduction des gaz à effet de serre à l’indépendance énergétique/From Greenhouse Gas Reduction to Québec’s Energy Self-sufficiency (Commission sur les enjeux énergéiques du Québec/Quebec Commission on Energy Issues, 2013; http://consultationenergie.gouv.qc.ca), 83/86 pp.
N. Mousseau, L’avenir du Québec passe par l’indépendance énergétique (Éditions MultiMondes, 2009), 184 pp.