The community of communes of the Val d’Ille is aiming at becoming a positive energy territory

Daniel Cueff, President of the Val d’Ille, signing the Covenant of Mayors during the annual ceremony in Brussels

Daniel Cueff, President of the Val d’Ille, signing the Covenant of Mayors during the annual ceremony in Brussels

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The Community of Communes of the Val d’Ille has committed to becoming a positive energy territory by the year 2030. This involves a drastic cut in energy consumption in private and public buildings, public lighting, mobility..., while simultaneously replacing fossil fuels by renewable ones.

In order to confirm this intention, both the Val d'Ille, as a support territory and structure for the communes composing it, and also the 10 communes individually, have promised the European Commission that they would reduce their emission of CO² by at least 20% before 2020 by signing the Mayors’ Convention. The commitment means the preparation of a CO² emission survey, the submission of an action plan to the Commission, the adaptation of the community’s decision making structures and an allocation of sufficient human resources, and finally the mobilization of the population. With Rennes Métropole, the Val d’Ille was one of the first French towns to involve itself in such a territorial dynamic, based on a model promoted and supported by Europe, and already widely deployed in Spain and Italy.

The Val d’Ille has also decided to implement a voluntary PCET (Territorial Climate Energy Plan) both in order to define a coherent global framework and strategy, but also to integrate other greenhouse gases into the thought process (more specifically azote protoxyde, and methane) to better understand and manage the role and the impact of farming, forests and natural meadows on climate change.

From a global strategy to tangible actions

For many years, the community of communes has been implementing a policy of promotion of organic farming on its territory, particularly by relying on community restaurants, notably in schools, (the initiative “eat organic in community restaurants” which has been running since 1999). It follows the mutations of farming practices, and intervenes for the preservation and creation of new farms.

In a complementary logic, the Val d’Ille encourages and supports the promotion of production committed to short channel processes, and particularly, the networking of the latest rural food stores supplied by local vegetable farmers, thus privileging short channel trade.

Concerning renewable energy production, the Community of Communes is working on an energy package defined according to the territory's strengths and constraints. More specifically, the Val d’Ille territory is not adapted to the development of large wind turbine plants, due to the population density and to military airplane ceilings. The flagship project of the Val d’Ille consists in the installation of a 4.5 MW photovoltaic plant associated to a real organic agricultural activity (forecast activity: organic poultry production). Public investment will be open to citizens at a limit of 5% for the plant. The objective is the creation of a viable agricultural activity for the bearer of the project and participation in local organic production, through a partnership between a group of farmers and the plant’s operator. Pushing the reflection further, the Val d’Ille will make available part of the farmland intended for organic productions, and which it owns, to enable the production of local organic cereal crops to feed the poultry.

The Val d’Ille has become a producer of hedgerow pellets and develops a significant program for the replanting of hedges in the framework of the Program Breizh Bocage (an 80 km² objective of hedges over 4 years; currently up to 22km completed), the purpose of which is not limited to an energy focused issue, but does integrate this aim. The development of the timber log and timber pellet industry is currently taking place. The combustibles will fuel the wood boilers on the territory.

Amongst other actions and projects: The promotion of solar heat, notably through the exemplarity of public buildings, development of awareness of “decentralized” photovoltaic solar energy, the implementation of a methanization process and the study of small wind turbines with the prospect of their possible deployment...