This week we speak with our project partner Florian Guillotte from SCIC Les 7 Vents in Normandy (France) to discuss the progress of their Regional Action Plan. 

What is the full name of your Action Plan? CLEAN Regional Action Plan: «Managing the ecological transition in Normandy: towards a strong and expanded network. Promote Normandian actors, build connections between them, and enrich the existing network with new actions.» 

What is the aim? Promote initiatives and create a network of Norman actors to reinforce the local landscape (part 1) and enrich the existing landscape with new actions, the European good practices (part 2).

And, what will be the main output? The enhancement of the existing Norman initiatives on the one hand, which will ultimately enhance the policy instrument targeted which is ERDF 2014-2020. On the other hand, adapting three European good practices in Normandy will allow: 

  • the deepening of awareness raising on energy uses in schools with new tools (incentives);
  • the deepening of awareness raising on energy uses for new comers;
  • an experimentation phase with smart grids (which ultimately enhances the policy instrument targeted concerning awareness raising and knowledge sharing issues). 

What is the name of the policy instrument or instruments addressed?  ERDF 2014-2020 «Faire de la Basse-Normandie une éco-région attractive».

What would you highlight from the policy framework?  This policy instrument contains 5 main Thematic Objectives, i.e., knowledge society, e-society, SME growth, the transition to a low carbon economy and urban development. This project will address "make Lower-Normandy an attractive eco-region". This corresponds to ERDF Thematic Objective 4, “Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors" which contains several Investment Priorities. Within the Thematic Objective, the Operational Programme focuses on Investment Priority 4c, “Supporting energy efficiency, intelligent energy management and renewable energy use in public infrastructures, including in public buildings and in the housing sector”.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment of the ROP of ERDF 2014-2020 highlights the need to improve the policy instrument by including measures that promote awareness raising and knowledge sharing. This is the main reason it needs to be improved. Involving citizens, building users and suppliers of energy services and raising their awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency, renewable energy usage and intelligent energy management will increase demand for the measures in the policy and its impact in meeting its targets. 

Could you tell us a little bit about the background of your action? Importing good practices in our territory is the main objective of CLEAN. However, when we started thinking of our Action Plan and making a territorial diagnosis, we realised how diverse the Norman initiatives were, and that many good practices spotted already existed under various forms in Normandy. Such an observation led us to the idea to promote the existing initiatives and enhance the network in Normandy, with a view to improve the policy instrument targeted (ERDF 2014-2020).

In parallel, we chose 3 actions that seemed relevant to implement in Normandy and which did not exist already: Euronet 50-50 observed in Slovenia;  SmartKalea observed in San Sebastian (Basque Country) and United for Sustainable Development observed during a study visit in Sundsvall (Sweden).

Why did you choose that specific action? The choice to promote and create network in the first place made more sense than starting to choose to import new actions, considering the current Norman landscape in terms of low carbon building initiatives. It would contribute to knowledge sharing and the creation of interaction between the different actors of the energy value chain. 

Then, the choice of the new actions to implement is the consistent result of the inventory we made. We chose to adapt actions that were not already existing in Normandy and that could enhance the policy instrument targeted.

What is the impact that you are expecting? A stronger region, more ready to cope with climate change consequences, especially in the energy and building domains thanks to awareness among citizens, a strong network uniting different actors of the building and energy sector and efficient actions carried out.

Which players are involved? Les 7 Vents, Région Normandie, BEN-BTP (Bâtiment et Environnement en Normandie-Bâtiment et Travaux Publics) and the actors involved in the 41 initiatives quoted.

How are you going to monitor it? Meetings are planned during the next two years to exchange, build synergies and get to know each other’s action. BEN-BTP will take over the network animation through its website.