Live again the 3rd national conference of 100% RES Communities online !

Work in groups during one of the participative workshops of 2013 conference

Work in groups during one of the participative workshops of 2013 conference

Published by Yannick Régnier on 16.10.2013

Burgondy region hosted the 3rd national conference "Energy and rural territories, towards 100% RES Communities", on 5-6-7 June 2013 in Cluny. This conference was organised by the Pays Sud Bourgogne, ADEME (national energy agency) and Burgondy Region, in association with CLER, network for the energy transition.

Confirming and multiplying the success of the two first editions, the conference gathered around 500 persons, elected representatives from local authorities, directors and project managers from rural territories, representatives of organisations specialised on local development and energy, company managers, members of farmers and energy cooperatives, etc.

Labelled "event of the national debate" on the energy transition, they allowed precising the proposals of rural territories and their partners for the future law on the energy transition.

A rich programme... to live again almost fully online !

Through debates, return of experiences at national and European levels, workshops and visits, the reflections that have already started a few years ago could be developed and improved. They allowed identifying necessary actions, levers and means for the development of 100% RES Communities in France.

After an introductory round table involving local and regional institutional partners [video in French], the opening plenary session left the floor to the exceptional story of Eva Stegen, head of public relations from the civic energy cooperative EWS Schönau (Germany), showing by example how far a local collective group can reclaim his own energetic future [video in French]... if only the law authorizes it (see the campaign "For the re-establishement of a local democratic control on electricity distribution grid" from the CLER). Gianfranco Lazzeroni, mayor of Bagnone (Italy), explained how the development of renewable energies could go together with the protection and promotion of the cultural heritage of a rural municipality [video in French].

At the French level, Catherine Louis, President of the Communauté de communes du Pays de Saint-Seine defended the interest of accompanying the development of a wind park, while promoting the benefits of the project [video in French]. At last, Christian Roger, deputy President of the Communauté de communes du Val d'Ille in charge of energy autonomy, reminded that elected persons are legitimate to act in the name of the citizens, and must engage beacon actions quickly at the start of their mandate - without wondering too much whether these actions would be popular or not [video in French]. He also spoke about the considerable impact of a nearby metropolitan area (the one of Rennes in his case), and the need to work in a good partnership.

Afer the plenary session, several guided tours were organised on the territory of the Pays Sud Bourgogne.

The second day was fully dedicated to long participative workshops. The visual and sound presentations of the 8 workshops are available online, as well as the associated summary notes (existing experiences, actions in network, proposals).

At last, on Friday 7 June, a panel of political, institutional and civic society representatives reacted [video in French] on the workshop summaries presented earlier in the morning by their moderators [video in French].

Strenghtening of links between the Réseau Territoires à énergie positive and CLER

Exceptionally, the annual assembly of CLER, network for the energy transition, was held during the conference. This convergence of events was not fortuitous: since it was created in June 2011, the CLER animates the network of 100% RES Communities ("réseau Territoires à énergie positive" in French) at the national level. In 2013, following a demand from the board of the 100% RES network, CLER agreed on the integration of the 100% RES network within it, as an internal section keeping its strategical autonomy.

Now, the 100% RES network can rely on the strenght of an organisation established for almost 30 years and recognised by institutions as well as alternative players, in particular to elaborate and defend proposals in favor of a territorial approach of the energy transition. The network stays free to implement all activities answering the needs expressed by its members, i.e. rural territories engaged towards energy autonomy (and local actors supporting them), starting with the collection and exchange of experiences.