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French Renewable Energy - Useful Phrases and Vocabulary

Updated on June 14, 2012
Some say wind turbines are ugly, do you agree?
Some say wind turbines are ugly, do you agree? | Source


This hub series serves to teach area specific vocabulary for French studiers who wish to learn how to not only speak but debate in french.

This hub will cover renewable energy vocabulary.

To continue learning useful new vocabulary see the other hubs in this series:


The percentages of use for each source of energy in the world. (Solar and Wind sources do not even make up 1% of the worlds needs!)
The percentages of use for each source of energy in the world. (Solar and Wind sources do not even make up 1% of the worlds needs!) | Source

First off - simple but vital words

Sources of Energy

  • Fossil fuels - l'énergies fossiles
  • Coal - le charbon
  • Oil - le pétrole
  • Natural gas - le gaz naturel
  • Nuclear - le nucléaire
  • Renewable energy - l'énergies renouvelables

Types of Renewable Energy

  • Hydraulic (water) - hydrolique
  • Hydroelectric dam - un barrage hydroélectrique
  • Wind turbines - les éoliennes
  • Solar panels - les panneaux solaires
  • Geothermal energy/geothermal - l'énergie géothermique/ la géothermie
  • Biomass - la biomasse

Useful Adjectives

  • Nuisible/nocif - harmful
  • Nocivité - noxiousness
  • Radioactif - radioactive
  • Déchets radioactif - radioactive waste
  • Propre - clean

Un mineur de charbon - hard work

Wind turbines require no manpower!
Wind turbines require no manpower! | Source

French Phrases

  • La nature a mis 250 millions d'années pour fabriquer le pétrole et nous sommes capables de l'épuiser en moins de cent ans.
  • Utiliser les lumières, jouer sur l'ordinateur, regarder la télé, mettre le chauffage, prendre sa voiture, tous ces gestes quotidiens consomment de l'énergie.
  • Aujourd'hui ces ressources connaissent une flambée des prix.
  • Le fait de leur raréfaction et l'explosion de la demande mondiale, notamment des pays émergent comme la Chine et l'Inde...
  • Le nucléaire produit une énergie très concentrée.
  • Un gramme d'uranium produit autant énergie qu'une tonne de charbon.
  • Le nucléaire ne rejette pas des gaz polluants dans l'atmosphère.
  • Les déchets radioactifs sont dangereux, car ils emettent des rayons qui peuvent être motels pour l'homme.
  • Mais je suis sûr que les scientists réussiront à trouver une solution.
  • Il faut tirer la sonnette d'alarme!

Spot the Irony

As TV sizes increase so do our energy needs!
As TV sizes increase so do our energy needs!

English Translation

  • Nature took 250 million years to produce our petrol and we are capable of exhausting it in less than 50 years.
  • Using lights, playing on the computer, watching TV, using central heating, using your car, all of these daily activities use up energy.
  • Recently these resources have seen a price hike.
  • The fact of their scarcity and the explosion in its global demand, notably in emerging countries like China and India.
  • Nuclear energy does not release polluting gases into the atmosphere.
  • Radioactive waste is dangerous, because it emits (electromagnetic) rays which can be fatal for humans.
  • But I am sure that scientists will succeed in finding a solution.
  • We must sound the alarm! (In the sense of realising that something is a problem and action must be taken)


A hydroelectric dam - Un barrage hydroélectrique
A hydroelectric dam - Un barrage hydroélectrique | Source

French Phrases 2

  • La mise en oeuvre de certaines énergies renouvelables peut parfois générer des désastres sociaux.
  • La construction de barrages entraîne fréquemment des déplacements de populations.
  • Les éoliennes offrent la possibilité de produire une énergie propre.
  • Tandis que le nucléaire pose le problème des déchets nuisibles.
  • On peut produire de l'électricité en captant l'énergie du soleil
  • Alors que le charbon émet du CO2 dans l'atmosphère
  • D'un coté le nucléaire nous donne de l'énergie sans émissions de CO2, mais d'un autre coté on doit gérer le problème des déchets dangereux.


Dams can lead to flooding which can be very dangerous - Les barrages peuvent entraîner les inondations qui sont très dangereuses.
Dams can lead to flooding which can be very dangerous - Les barrages peuvent entraîner les inondations qui sont très dangereuses. | Source

English Translation 2

  • The construction of certain renewable energy (sources) can sometimes generate social catastrophes.
  • The construction of dams frequently leads to the displacement of human populations.
  • Wind turbines offer the possibility to produce clean energy.
  • Whereas nuclear energy creates the problem of harmful wastes.
  • We can produce electricity by capturing the sun's energy.
  • Whereas coal emits CO2 into the atmosphere.
  • On the one hand nuclear energy gives us energy without giving us CO2, but on the other hand we have to deal with the problem of dangerous wastes.

Cold Showers Save the World and Improve Your Health!


French Phrases 3

  • Les pays riches peuvent faire davantage d'effort.
  • Technologies propres et moins de gaspillages peuvent encore relever le défi de reduire notre effet sur la terre.
  • Pour reduire nos besoins de l'énergie il faut:
  • Faire son compost,
  • Baisser la température,
  • Prendre une douche plutôt qu'un bain,
  • Éteindre la lumière en quittant la pièce,
  • Ne pas utiliser la mise en veille avec les appareils électriques,
  • Isoler son logement.

Simple but Effective

Switch off your lights whilst switching on your morality!
Switch off your lights whilst switching on your morality! | Source

English Translations 3

  • Rich countries can make more of an effort.
  • Clean technologies and less waste can still rise to the challenge of reducing our effect on the earth.
  • To reduce our energy needs we must:
  • Make our own compost,
  • Lower the temperature,
  • Take a shower rather than a bath,
  • Turn off the light after leaving the room,
  • Not use 'standby' mode on electrical appliances,
  • Insulate our houses.

A Quick Poll/ Un Sondage Rapide

Do you think that wind turbines are ugly? Pensez-vous que les éoliennes soient moches?

See results

How can we resolve our energy problems? Try to understand this french video and put your new vocabulary to test!



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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This information adds more and more features to the notion of sustainable society, i.e. le developpement durable. Mes felicitations les plus sinceres et les plus distinguees!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great French lesson DK. I've learned a bunch of new French phrases and vocabulary for my rustic French lessons from high school/college. Well done and easy to understand!

    • Philanthropy2012 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London

      You're welcome! Glad it helped (:!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm french and this page helped me to learn vocabulary about renewable energy. Thanks you so much.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London

      Pas de problème! I'm glad I helped!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Merci beaucoup! This really helped me with my french report on energy. Thx! :)


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