Definition and identification of 100% RES communities

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Published by Yannick Régnier on 2013. 07. 16.

No general valid definition of a 100% RES community exists in literature. Consequently, neither a standard methodology nor tools already exist to identify them. However, national initiatives have paved the way to this definition and identification.

100% RES communities are defined (deENet with CLER) as being towns and territories dealing with one or several of the four points below in an exemplary way:

  • having an objective target to change their energy supply system to RES within the next decades (level of objectives),
  • developing actions of institutionalization and implementation as concrete measures and plans to adapt the energy supply system (level of planning),
  • approaching the issue of energy in a global perspective of local development (level of approach),
  • showing first achievements on the way to a sustainable energy supply system (level of execution).

Therefore the activities consist in:

  • setting a general and shared definition of what a 100% RES community is, including conceptual, qualitative and quantitative aspects, based on existing experiences (Germany, Italy, Belgium, France…) and addressing the four levels of process (objectives, planning, approach, execution) described above,
  • identifying 100% RES communities through the operational implementation of the definition in a web platform.

Eventually, the aim is to build the methodological grounds and indicators enabling a wide communication campaign based on the promotion of identified front-runners, to stimulate a large number of rural towns and territorial authorities to join Rurener network and sign the Covenant of Mayors, develop new joint SEAPs and implement structuring RES and energy efficiency actions.

Note: the objective of being a 100% RES community is only realistic in mainly rural territories due to their high potential of energy production from renewable sources and their low number of inhabitants (per km2) - so low overall energy consumption. Rural territories will head towards this objective for their own interest, in a perspective of local development, but also to supply eventually urban areas with energy with a prospective view toward territorial cohesion (the analogy with agriculture and food production is illuminating on this issue). In the meantime, urban areas should put the priority on the reduction of their energy footprint. The need to differentiate priorities and to promote the smart cooperation between rural and urban areas will be addressed in this work package.