Steps to becoming a recognised positive energy territory in France

Territorial logo of the Mené
Published by Yannick Régnier on 16.12.2013

Apart from some basic principles, until today there has never been an exact definition of what constitutes a positive energy territory. However, national initiatives in several European countries have paved the way for a definition and for the potential identification of positive energy territories (also called “100% RES Communities”) in Europe.


Collaboration between 13 partners in 10 European countries (including Germany, Austria, Italy, etc.) in the project 100% RES Communities has resulted in agreement on the essentials of a general definition for a positive energy territory. Following on from this, the nature of a positive energy territory has also been specified by defining some twenty criteria based on 4 pillars (which each zone is required to implement gradually in a more focused manner):

  • The territory sets the objective of meeting its energy needs from local renewables (political level)
  • The territory draws up an action plan and specific measures (strategic level)
  • The territory addresses energy by taking a global approach to local development(systematic approach level)
  • The territory implements specific projects (implementation level).


These steps reflect the 5 main objectives of the territories:

  • Self-evaluation: the process of analysing the territory helps to identify its strong points and those where more work is needed
  • Going public: the territory’s announcement of its commitment to the TEPOS process helps to heighten its local “brand image”
  • Identification: displaying the various territories on the same European map helps them to identify each other, understand each other’s dynamics and participate in an exchange of experiences helped by the activities of the network at different levels
  • Recognition: the gradual development of stronger commitment on the part of rural areas raises the collective credibility of positive energy territories and gives weight to their local positions in favour of the energy transition.
  • Gathering energies: containing a common concept and vision the label integrates diverse interest groups under one mission statement. Thereby, it creates trust among the stakeholders and bundles the efforts onsite.


Territories that are aiming and capable to be 100% renewable by addressing energy in a local development approach can follow certain steps in order to be recognised as a positive energy territory.

The principles and steps for gaining recognition are as follows:

  • Only territories that are members of the network of positive energy territories can apply for recognition: willingness to actively exchange and share with other territories regarding energy is an essential element of the TEPOS movement.
  • The territory undertakes a self-evaluation based on the recognition criteria. To do this, it enters its information (description and level of progress for each criterion) online via the dedicated web interface. After a simple conformity check regarding form and content, the information is published in full and can be viewed online by the public at large.
  • At the same time, the territory commits to a process of continuous improvement by updating its self-evaluation each year and by presenting simple key indicators and objectives every three years.

In France, approval is based on three principles:

  1. Requirement to cooperate
  2. Transparency of means
  3. Obligation to perform

Individual recognition for the benefit of all

Recognition as a positive energy territory constitutes a “quality mark” which territories can promote in return for their commitment. This encourages territories to highlight their participation by drawing attention to their dynamism and the shared values that inspire them.