The 2014 TEPOS forum as if you were there... from home!
The Community of Councils of Mimizan and Haute Lande welcomed the 4th National Forum for “Energy and Rural Territories, towards Positive Energy Territories” on September 24, 25, and 26, 2014. These meetings were organized in collaboration with the Aquitaine Region, the ADEME and the CLER.
Beyond borders other worlds of energy!
After the video presentation of the initiatives of the positive energy territories in Aquitaine, the forum opened, as is now traditional, by the transition between Michel Maya, Mayor of Tramayes, representing the South Burgundy area (that organized the 2013 forum) and Xavier Fortinon, President of the Community of Councils of Mimizan, symbolically exchanging a bottle of Burgundy wine and a bottle of Armagnac.
Then it was time for the opening session, which crossed eastern and southern borders. Heinz-Jürgen Weber, Mayor of Flecken Steyerberg (Germany, 5,200 inhabitants), presented the impressive achievements in his territory in terms of production of renewable energies; these opened the door to the privileged circle of the “100% renewable regions” for him. New innovative projects in terms of electric mobility and energy cooperatives (electricity and heat) are at the heart of the current action plan in the town.
The overwhelming energy of Gonzalo Piernavieja Izquierdo, Head of the Technical Institute of the Canary Islands (Spain) then held the participants spellbound as he uncovered 80 slides of pictures in the 30 minutes allotted time (translation included)! The Canary Islands, an insular region of 2 million inhabitants, are moving towards energy autonomy, and the installation of turbine and pump power plants associated to a wind farm on the El Hierro Island, which is known globally, is only the visible part of the iceberg.
Then, back to France, with the testimonials of Michel Feyrit, President of the SIPHEM (Inter-city union for the Pays Haut Entre-deux-Mers) focusing on the implementation of precise and concerted territorial policies in the field of habitat and energy, and of Jean-Marc Bouvier, Vice-President of the Community of Councils of Val de Drome in charge of energy, who talked about the mobilization achieved by the representatives of the Biovallée.
Alain Nadaï, a CNRS researcher, then moved to a presentation of the findings of the current research work on a “French style localism”.
Finally, Alain Rousset, President of the Aquitaine Region, concluded the afternoon by reminding us of the region’s commitments in terms of climate and energy, the importance of the role of territories for the development of local channels capable of making “green energy" happen.
Increasing knowledge and skills together
The second day was fully dedicated to long participative workshops (3 hours). The audio and visual presentations of the 8 workshops are available online, as well as the associated summary analyses:
- Reduced distribution channels for wood energy: structuring a local channel "from the tree to the heater"
- Financial engineering: implementing innovative financing structures
- Public territorial engineering: structuring the range of competencies in the positive energy territories
- Circular economy: “from cradle to cradle”, giving waste a second life in favour of sustainable energy
- Participative practices: encouraging public and citizen participation in the development and financing of renewable energy projects
- Extremely efficient renovation of private housing: structuring territorial activities for global support
- Territorial methanization: collective farming dynamics
- City planning: putting urbanization at the service of energy issues and consumer restraint
Debating the legislative news
The last day of the forum opened with a summary of the previous day’s workshops as the workshop leaders presented an operational synthesis.
The major observers and political personalities contributing to the round table on “energy transition and decentralization” that followed tried to answer to the best of their possibilities. The personalities on stage were:
- Peggy Kançal (Representative of the Aquitaine Region)
- Jean-Marc Billac (vice-president, Community of councils of Mimizan)
- Patrick Sabin (vice-president, Community of councils of Haute Lande)
- Jacques Ravaillault (Executive director of the ADEME Territorial Action)
- Philippe Caradec (Sustainable development advisor, Commissioner-General for Equality of Territories)
- Madeleine Charru (co‐president of the CLER, network for energy transition)
To be followed… throughout the year!
To close the meeting, the organizers handed leadership over to their successors, the Community of Councils of Thouarsais, where the 5th meeting will be held on September 2 to 4 2015.