The improvement of energy performance of individual housing. The challenge of coordinating the existing actions.

Sylvère ANGOT (École des Ponts ParisTech/LATTS).

The improvement of energy performance of individual housing is one of the key notions of « energy transition ». Moreover, it represents a considerable investment for many public institutions.
National policy instruments toward individuals were launched by different ministries: « Sustainable Development Tax Credit » and « Eco-loan 0% » represent several billion Euros on the last 5 years, invested by Ministries of Ecology and of Finance (Vauglin 2011). Other examples include the “Habiter mieux” programme (€500 million per year) of the National Agency for Housing Improvement (ANAH) and the “Espaces Info Energie” of the National Agency for Environment and Energy Saving (ADEME). Energy efficiency has a potential for emergence as public scope that Ministries of Ecology and of Housing are looking to invest.
At the local level, local authorities declined these measures (via eg “Planned home improvement operations”, OPAH). They also consider energy efficiency as a big issue and develop, often with local partners, their own additional aid, information, incentive, planning actions or call for projects. These include Climate-Energy Territorial Plans, General interest programs, Public service initiatives in energy efficiency, etc.
This also raises the question of the coordination of these programs. Based on a qualitative study in two French regions, we focus on the conditions for the emergence of a regional coordination of these policies by the Regional Directorates of Environment (DREAL). While these decentralised state services were profoundly remodeled since 2010 (Poupeau 2011), agents must position themselves in an original way as coordinators and reinvent the legitimacy of state intervention in the territories. DREAL appear first in line for the implementation of national systems, while having to articulate their actions with local authorities and local branches of State Agencies (Benamouzig, Besançon, 2010). Plan Contracts State-Region (CPER) or Regional Schemes Climate-Air-Energy (SRCAE) can be mobilized in this direction.
Our study leads us to conclude on the following points. The difficulty to coordinate these programs and to consider really a public policy of energy home improvements. The difficulty of decentralised services to develop new professional skills (including coordination) in a context of reduced budgetary allocations. The importance of local actors’ configurations in the implementation of these actions.

KEY WORDS : energy efficiency, housing improvement, decentralised State services, independent administrative agencies, décentralisation, public policies coordination.

Energy Transition in Rural Area: the Territorialization of Wind Farms Projects in Champagne-Ardenne Region.

Céline BURGER (University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne/IATEUR).

The competences in energy policies are more and more delegated at the territorial level, consequently they became big issues for local policies. This new competences are an opportunity for local authorities to promote local development. Indeed, they integrate the renewable energy projects in their innovation and attractiveness policies. Consequently, the local community became an indispensable support of national energy policies, as the Champagne-Ardenne Region who qualifies the “renewable energy” as “picking winners”. So, the Region forms part of superior level obligation in term of energy transition governance and innovation. In this Region, the wind power development was very sustained by local authorities, as reflected by a massive implementation of wind farms. It raises questions about territorialization. In fact, wind farm projects are implanted in rural area (micro-level), upset the balance of local planning in their territories. This effective planning is questioned in term of sustainability. Wind energy policies in Champagne-Ardenne Region are constrained by different decisions scales and asymmetric relations among stakeholders. What can emerge about these political strategies, at the local level, on sustainable development? The Region develops a new renewable model based of wind farms development, to create “territorial sustainable projects”. This type of projects required cooperation and communication between stakeholders. However, the increase of financialization in planning projects, and particularly in energy’s infrastructures projects, undermines the process of negotiation and to energy transition.

KEY WORDS: energy Transition, territorial sustainable development, local governance, wind farm, territorialization.

Weight of the Past, Future Challenges: Temporalities of Environmental Action in a Former Mining Town (Pas-de-Calais, France).

Laure DOBIGNY (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University/CETCOPRA).

Loos-en-Gohelle, municipality within the coalfield area of Pas-de-Calais, both rural and urban, dense and agricultural, implements many innovative actions in the field of climate and energy in a very specific context : an heavy industrial past with economic, social, environmental and urban planning implications. Self-proclaimed “pilot city for sustainable development”, since 1997 Loos-en-Gohelle is developing an ambitious environmental and social policy, which aims to be a city “test” and innovation lab. Constrained both by its past and future energy and climate issues, their local policy inscribes itself in a specific temporality : the (very) long-term. This is a break through conventional political timelines, in particular a break from the short-term approach of coal mining.
By studying two current rehabilitation projects, Réhafutur and RéhabLoos, one relating to the rehabilitation of mining habitat (social housing) with the criteria for BBC label (Low Consumption Building) and eco-materials, and the other on the rehabilitation of a private residential area, we will see the different time scales of political, technical, socio-professional and normative processes, of representations and innovation. We will show that emerging projects are not only inherited from previous long-term process but are themselves constructed, not for immediate effectiveness, but to initiate processes whose effects will be felt in a long time.
The specificity of Loos-en-Gohelle, through its construction as a showcase for sustainable development – construction in and for long-term – is a normative constraint in innovation and new projects to stay a “pilot city”. Nevertheless it proves to be an effective way to (re) create local economic, environmental and social dynamics in a region where these issues are enormous challenges.

KEY WORDS : temporality, mining habitat, rehabilitation, heritage, environmental policy.

Nova Scotia’s Energy Transition: Ecological Modernization and Energy Security in a Coal-Powered Canadian Province.

Anders HAYDEN ( Dalhousie University).

Although Canada as a whole has done little to move beyond a carbon-based economy, some Canadian provinces have begun a low-carbon energy transition, including the surprising case of Nova Scotia. Ecological modernization theory suggests that climate action offers “win-win” economic opportunities (or what Giddens refers to as convergence between climate and economic objectives). However, compared to other jurisdictions that have linked green-energy strategies to strengthening their well-developed manufacturing sectors, Nova Scotia has less capacity to capture the industrial-expansion opportunities. In addition, among the ten Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia has the fourth highest per-capita carbon emissions and second lowest per-capita incomes. It therefore faces particular difficulties in dealing with the upfront costs of a green-energy transition. How does one explain Nova Scotia’s introduction of relatively strong climate and green-energy policy? In addition, what key opportunities and obstacles is the province facing in achieving its objectives? This paper will argue that Nova Scotia’s energy insecurity—particularly its vulnerability to rising costs of imported fossil energy—has been a powerful motivator that compensates for other difficulties in making the economic case for new green-energy investments. Nova Scotia thus differs from most Canadian provinces and instead resembles some European states, where energy-security concerns have been a key force behind renewable-energy development. However, the province still faces obstacles in reconciling economic, environmental, and energy-security objectives. These obstacles include the double-edged role of public concern over rising electricity rates (which has driven the search for alternatives to fossil fuels, but also limited the ability to gain support for the initial costs of green-energy investments). A wider political coalition supporting green energy, one that extends beyond large private firms to include rural and coastal communities, is also needed. The paper is based on semi-structured interviews and an analysis of documents from actors involved in the province’s energy policy debate, including government ministries, politicians and political parties, business, and environmental groups.

KEY WORDS: ecological modernization, renewable energy, energy security, Nova Scotia, Canada.

City and Energy – a dialogue to be developed between local authorities and local stakeholders.

Sylvie LACASSAGNE (Energy Cities)
Stéphane DUPAS (Energy Cities)

In Europe, many local authorities are engaging in policies to reduce their greenhouse emissions, increase energy efficiency and promote renewable energies.
In practice, we observe that some areas are very difficult to tackle. Transport, household energy consumption, « grey » energy contained in consumption goods are linked to a particular lifestyle. They are also very difficult to quantify. In those areas, resistance to change seems very strong.
What leverage points exist to enable a change at this level? What experiences were observed? Are there studies enabling us to make new proposals?
It is essential to revisit the bottom-up approach that would link the cities to the national and European decision-making levels. The most micro levels (individuals, households, businesses, associations…) have to be taken into consideration in the governance as well. Local authorities need to take into consideration at the same time the necessary changes to be made, and to listen to societal aspirations and social evolutions.
Cities cannot act alone. The collaboration between decision-making levels brings institutional responses in the context of multi-level governance. Yet, cities, although they are the closest institutional level to citizens, are still far away from societal concerns.
What role can cities play to address this gap? How can they boost new territorial governance modes where people, individual or the organized civil society, have a role to play in co-building and managing the city and seize the opportunity to become responsible for their own future?
IMAGINE initiated by Energy Cities, allowed to launch a dialogue process in 8 European cities and develop local Energy roadmaps 2050 at territorial level.

KEY WORDS: dialogue, city, stakeholders, governance, energy.

The agricultural methanization. Analysis of an emergent industry and territorial dynamics.


The methanization is a shape of emergent decentralized power production which offers circular economy opportunies. Still in its infancy in France, object of scientific uncertainties relative to its process and controversies within the agricultural world, it wa recently stimulated by national public policies such as the Plan Energy Methanization Antonomy Nitrogen in 2013. It consists in making of the biogas from the degradation of organic matters stemming from the agricultural world.
We analyse the emergence of a sector in France and the way it articulates in the policies and social movements, with regard to the games of scale between levels macro (national policies), mezzo (what it happens in regions) and micro (local dynamics around projects).
The methanization divides the agricultural world, diverting it from its feeder vocation, but also the ecologist circles, shared between the benefits which it promises in term of circular economy and the way it transforms the peasant world, and elected representatives on territories, between waiting-game and voluntarism. How does the sector constitute from these divisions? What difficulties cross the developers who wish to seize locally a tool of top down policies?
Formed in the political sciences and in the sociology (ScPo, EHESS), Elodie Merle is at present a researcher to EDF R&D, in a department turned to the analysis of markets. Her research focuses on the territorial dimension of the energy, through the successive study of various objects being situated between the market, the social movements and the policies.

KEY WORDS: methanization, territories, policies, industry, games of scale.

Setting up a public utility approach to enhance energy financing in housing : at heart of energy and local public policies.

Françoise REFABERT (Vesta Conseil&Finance)
Loïc AUBRÉE (Catholic University of Lille/CRESGE)

The communication will be based on a research conducted in the frame of the « Fighting against Climate Change » programme lead by Ademe and Nord-Pas de Calais Region, regarding the design of a Local Public Utility Approach for Energy efficiency (Service Public de l’Efficacité Energétique – SPEE), as well as an experimental setting-up of the same scheme by Picardie Region.
Starting with an analysis of constraints observed through interviews with individual owners, the objective was to work on the prefiguration of the service in a specific context, which implied to select territories and actors willing to enter into such a process.
As a matter of fact, professionals from Lille Métropole and Saint-Omer participated to the research, as well as the team in charge of the 100 000 housing Plan (Plan 100 000 logements) at Nord-Ile de France region.
In parallel, Picardie Region lead its own project, and created the SPEE and an In-house structure controled by the Region (régie régionale), and obtained the support from ELENA technical assistance programme of European Investment Bank.
In the meantime, the principle of Public Service application to the energy efficiency refurbishment activities has been introduced in the Code of Energy in April 2013 (Service Public de la Performance Energétique) and should be further characterized when the upcoming law regarding Energy Transition and Green Growth will be enforced (projet de loi sur la Transition Energétique et la Croissance Verte).
This kind of scheme, developed by local authorities, aims at inducing households to enter into energy efficiency works consistent with the local authority’s objectives in terms of climate policy.
In order to work out an attractive offer for housholds, these public schemes have to endorse a « trusted advisor » position, which may be strengthened thanks to the fact that the service continues to be delivered after the refurbishment works with a follow-up of energy consumptions, in a context where households have little control over defective works today. In addition, these public schemes have to ease access to an adapted financing, which is the most difficult barrier to overcome in order to make the works projects become reality.
On-the-field experimentations show how a public utility approach allows to impulse actors. Without the involvment of local authorities, the energy refurbishments market, which is so complex and fragmented, tends to deliver poorly coordinated and only partially performed works programs, which seldom allow to avoid energy downgrading of existing housing.
We propose to expose how a balanced economic model may be achieved, based on a remuneration for service rendered paid by the beneficiaries and financed together with the refurbishment costs over long term, and thus, to concentrate usage of public subsidies for most vulnerable households.

KEY WORDS: energy efficiency, housing refurbishment, local public policies.

Public lighting as revealing the relationship between public administration and citizens.

Yann VUYLSTEKE (University of Nantes/ François Viète Center)
Dominique PÉCAUD (University of Nantes/ François Viète Center)

The communication deals with the dynamics of citizens’ appropriation about issues related to consumption of public lighting energy. It emphasizes the analysis of public action, in terms of the energy consumption and the reduction of electricity consumption from street lighting in a large city from western France. Moreover, this analysis focuses on users’ representations about public lighting and electricity consumption related to this service.
It establishes the device of relationship between policies of public lighting, technical features and urban people behaviour regarding to local public action. The analysis of interactions in this device demonstrates that the involvement of citizens is limited.
There are various reasons to this divestment.
One of it is a missing of technical knowledge concerning the organization and operation of street lighting. Another reason is related to the social and technical configurations in which the users don’t consider public lighting as a common good, and they have no control on the electrical system and they haven’t knowledge about it.
Public policies of lighting builds a definition of public spaces and their uses that influence the users’ perception about public lighting. In the same time, the analysis of the behaviour of users influence policy actions in public spaces, even if users directly claim little things for lighting public.
Balance occurs: on the one hand, users distant about decisions energy of public spaces, the other, a political administration strengthened to operate alone in those areas.
This communication explain the complexity of the different configurations of public policy, of their technical, political and social impacts, accentuated by the diversity of actors involved in the whole process of operation of street lighting.

KEY WORDS: public lighting, public policy, appropriation citizens, electricity consumption reduction, divestment.

Intermediation as social innovation and strategy for local energy transitions

Pia LABORGNE (Europäisches Institut für Energieforschung, Allemagne)

The urban socio-technical energy system is a key field for coping with environmental changes and for a sustainable development of cities. Its forms and usages are decisive for resource consumption, but it also has important impacts on social and economic development. Cities are major context for the consumption of resources as well as centers for innovation and privileged level for experimentation and implementation of new approaches for problem solving. They are thus important starting points for sustainability transitions.
These transitions are only in part technical ones but essentially embedded in, based on and consisting of changes in social practices and in the organization of societal problem solving. These changes can be described as social innovations. The paper proposes a theoretical as well as empirical analysis of one central form of organizational change in local energy transition strategies: The creation of local intermediaries, defined by their function and position in-between other actors.
The presentation builds on findings from the work on a PhD thesis realized in the framework of an interdisciplinary researcher group on urban infrastructures (2010-2014) at the Technical University of Darmstadt and the University of Freiburg. It is applying the multilevel perspective which analyses transformations as interplay of three different levels: landscape, regime and niches. The thesis intends to enhance the empirical basis on local transformations and analyses what kind of and how local niche-experiments are created locally. Following Konrad et al (2004) such niches are defined here as new configurations of structural elements.
Case studies in major urban regions have been realized (Berlin, Frankfurt/Main and Ruhr Metropolis). The results are based on the analysis of semi-structured qualitative interviews with local actors and experts, a literature study, official documents and a media analysis.