The S.U.D territory on the road to positive energies

View of the Serre-Ponçon Lake and dam © Sylvain05

View of the Serre-Ponçon Lake and dam © Sylvain05

Published by Yannick Régnier on

The Serre-Ponçon Ubaye Durance (S.U.D) Territory is the only PACA (Provence Alpes Côtes d’Azur) territory as well as the only mountain territory to have ratified the national network charts for Positive Energy Territories. The S.U.D, a territory with a high quality of life is composed of 31 communes in the Ubaye, the Embrunais and the Savinois which together totalize 20,000 inhabitants and provide infrastructures for accommodation for 80,000 tourists. The S.U.D territory is the link between the national parks of the Mercantour and the Ecrins, it benefits from the use of the Serre-Ponçon lake, has 6 domains for skiing and remarkable natural parkland. The territory while concentrating on its summer and winter tourism activities has not, however, abandoned its ambitious policy in terms of energy efficiency.

Many actions have already been carried out

Since 2007, the territory and the towns it contains have thus initiated significant actions in favor of energy control, of the development of renewable energies and sustainable construction. This has taken the form of audits on public constructions and lighting, heat networks and wood energy platforms (with a power of 6 MW, pellet production unit), hydroelectric and solar infrastructures (among them a 1.5 GW solar plant), with lights extinguished at night...

The “ski” activity remains one of the key components of local economy; that is why the S.U.D territory already appears as a pilot territory as far as the electricity efficiency of ski resorts is concerned, within the framework of the European project ALPSTAR.

These concrete measures are completed by information and awareness actions such as the Festival of Energy Mountains or the Educational Village on Energy and Climate for the population, and more specifically the youth.

Building on the success of exemplary commitment and achievements of local administrations and private stakeholders, the representatives of the territory have decided to elaborate these initiatives round a development blueprint on "Positive Energy Territories". Beyond traditional diagnoses on “climate and energy", the question is fundamentally to have close consultation with professional bodies and the population. The key issue is the collective definition and enactment of the territory’s local commitment in energy transition. In 2014, this will appear as a series of planned “TEPos” (definition?) actions stimulating local life and fixing a clear direction to the territory’s energy policy.

A vision for the future: An alpine pole for energy and sustainable construction

Cooperative energy “expertise” has enabled the emergence of constructions and BBC rehabilitation and environmental renovation thus showing full recognition of local skills. Benefitting from training centers and specialized companies in the field of sustainable construction (Le Gabion, LEP Durance Ecrins, Ecole d’ébénisterie, Maison du Bois…), representatives hope to help the development of these sectors of the future. This process is seen as an opportunity to consolidate and develop local economy. This is why, in parallel to the TEPos process, the territory wishes to start a think tank on the implementation of an “Alpine Pole for Energy and Sustainable Construction”.