Region of Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur, France

Keywords: renewable energy region, 100% renewable energy self sufficiency region, Region of Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur, renewable energy in Region of Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur.

Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur is a region which is located on the Mediterranean Coast in the southeast of France (Figure 1). The capital is Marseille. This region comprises of six departments; Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Hautes-Alpes, Var, and Vaucluse. It is bordered by:[1]

  • south: Mediterranean
  • east: Italy
  • west: the valley or the estuarine delta of the Rhône River
  • north: Rhône-Alpes Region

 

With total area of 31,400 km2 (4.9% of France territory),

Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur has a population around 4,864,015 inhabitants. The population density is about 154.9 inhabitants/km

.[1] Population is highly concentrated along the coastal fringe and in the lower Rhône valley. The area is highly urbanized (90% of the population living in towns). Agriculture is of limited importance in the economy but has become increasingly specialized, with irrigation playing a major role. The region has never been heavily industrialized. Traditionally, industry was associated mainly with processing imported raw materials and energy products, ship building, processing agricultural products, and supplying the needs of the agricultural sector. But recently, an increasing number of high-tech companies that focus on microelectronics, information technology, and telecommunications have become established. The majority of employment in the service sector is tourism.[4]

Status of Renewable Energy Development

 

The Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur Region has adopted the development of renewable energies as one of the fundamental principles of its energy policy. There are some achievements have been gained:[5]

  • the “Sunshine” plan is boosting the market (in conjunction with sizeable grants)
  • a significant increase in professional and public events the awareness of environmental issues, energy savings, renewable energies, and eco-construction.
  • a market with exponential growth and a very favorable environment for the development of renewable energies: a 313% increase in the number of solar installations in the Vaucluse region between 2004 and 2005; a significant increase in demand, with 120 solar installations completed during the first 6 months of 2006; an increase in the number of professionals and in their level of qualification; the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region produces 50% of the total electricity consumed; major growth in the construction sector (both the public and private sector) which is linked to new energy installations.


Capenergies

It is a cluster which promotes regional and national assets in the development of a European energy industry. It was launched in November 2005. It focuses on nine areas; energy management, solar energy, wind energy, hydraulics-geothermal energy-marine energy, biomass-bioenergy, nuclear fusion, nuclear fission, hydrogen, and linking and integration of energy systems.[6] Up to now, Capenergies has more than 400 members. It works with industrial, research and higher education partnerships in Provence-Alpes, Côte d’Azur, Corsica, The Reunion & Guadeloupe islands.[7]


Purposes

The purposes is to bring together those involved in the energy market at a regional level; to contribute to the projects (national and international), and to promote or develop energy that does not generate greenhouse gases (energy efficiency, renewable, and nuclear energy).[7]


Objective
[7]

  • International objective: to develop R&D (research and development) and to form industrial partnerships with foreign companies and groups in the field of climate change.
  • Main objective: to contribute the economic growth of small firms on the subjects of innovation and international development.


Goals
[7]

  • Facilitate exchanges between members
  • Develop cooperative and innovating projects on energy solution systems
  • Assist members in developing their projects and products
  • Support members in their international development


Funding Organization
s[7]

  • EDF (Electricity of France)
  • CEA (Atomic Energy Authority)
  • ADEC (Agency of Economic Development of Corsica)


Projects
[7]

  • The PREMIO project: the purpose is to demonstrate innovative and replicable architecture in the south of France. The goal is to optimize distributed generation, storage, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. It plans to reduce the restrictions of local grid and CO2 emissions.
  • The Myrthe project: it is is a solar platform which includes 3 federal projects, the Myrthe project created by the University of Corsica in partnership with Helion, the CEA (Atomic Energy Authority) and the Raffalli group. The goal is to program hydrogenates by a power plant photovoltaic solar panel.
  • The SEPAC project: the main objective is to demonstrate the implementation and trial of a smaller size panel and the feasibility of a storage solution to an average scale with a power supply of about 1 MW.
  • The PRINCESS project: the objective is to answer the possibility of increasing the rate of penetration of renewable energy on electricity networks with isolated systems.
  • The KIS-PIMS (Knowledge Intensive Services Innovation Platform) project: it is an EU project which aims to speed up the development of services in renewable energy.
  • The IC-MED project: the aims are to develop and to strengthen the co-operation between groups situated in the Northern Mediterranean Region. The goal is to form clusters based on common and complementary skills in the fields of energy and information and communication technologies. It will take place over 3 years (June 2009 – May 2012).
  • The EUROP’ ACT project: it is the first European project to join Ilenergies Network. This project is managed by the French and Overseas authorities. There are three partners involved: the Territorial Authority of Corsica, the Regions of Guadeloupe, and Reunion. It is planned to take place on a period of 18 months.

Enerplan Industry Organization

Since 1993, the solar energy trade association Enerplan has worked to promote renewable energy technology. The head quarter is located in the city of La Ciotat (Bouches-du-Rhône département). This organization with national scope brings all together the industrial and commercial activities around solar energy in France. Its activities are representation, industry organization and development, and demand development.[6]

PACA Marine Cluster

The PACA marine cluster lies at a point where two major growth areas converge, encompassing seven sectors related to marine applications. With a view to working together on cooperative projects, it serves as a networking hub for companies, research centres and universities that develop technologies which are applicable across different sectors for an integrated marine policy. Renewable energy sources are included into marine cluster under the term offshore oil industry and link with sustainable development (Figure 2).[8]

 

“Energie 2010” and “AGIR” Programs

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) Regional Council supports initiatives in the development of renewable energy through actions taken in these two programs.[6]


“Energy 2010”

The mission of this program is to make a renewable energy a key asset for the region’s environment, economy, and jobs. It offers incentives such as the “Chèque Energies Renouvelables” to private and public initiatives for the funding of photovoltaic, solar thermal installations, and individual wood fuelled furnaces.[6]

 

AGIR (Action Globale Innovante Régionale – Regional Action for Global Innovation)

The program launched in 2006 (budget €70 million) to sustain and develop the campaigns which began with the ITER project and the “Energy 2010” program. It supports projects which innovate and deserve recognition for their low energy consumption or use of clean energy. To date, 136 projects have been approved with a total budget €25 million.[6]



Eco Vallée – Plaine du Var valley

The Plaine du Var project is the first large-scale national project in the area of sustainable development in France. This project is assured to become a global model in sustainable urban planning and has received “national interest project” label.[9]

Eco-energy plan
It is a program for the management of electricity demand and the development of renewable energies. It was developed in the east of the Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur region by institutional players with the help of ADEME (the French environment and energy management agency).[9]


Local Government Subsidies

To promote the use of renewable energies, the General Council pays for 50% of the cost approved solar equipment or referenced wood or geothermal facilities (renewable energy may be subsidized up to 80%). This subsidy is available to those granted by the State and by the regional authorities.[9]

Renewable Energy in Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur

 

Solar Energy and PhotovoltaicSolar energy received in the Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur is 1.6 to 1.7 kWh/m2/year (Figure 3). The Mediterranean region records 15.7 MW, it is the greatest photovoltaic power in France (Figure 4). Between 2007 and 2008, it is recorded a growth of 647%. Main stakeholders and clusters of PV sector in Capenergies Cluster are Enerplan, CEA, Ecostream, SilPro, Photon Power, Giordano, Conergy, Elactrabel, Siliken France, Heliowatt groupe Aerowatt, Fenroche Energie, SOPREMA, EDF, etc (Figure 5).[5]


Wind Atlas

The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME-PACA) elaborated a high-resolution wind atlas (250 m) covering the region “Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur” (South-East of France). Basic data come from 14 surface weather stations. The wind statistics at each of the 14 reference stations can be transformed to the meso-scale wind at 80 m height at the station location (Figure 6).[10]