Ecological and energy transition & SSE

Kit RégionalESS N°13

June 2021

Réseau des collectivités Territoriales pour une Economie Solidaire (RTES)

In connection with the renewal of regional executives in June 2021, RTES proposes a Regional SSE kit to raise awareness among candidates and provide tools for future regional teams wishing to support the social and solidarity economy (SSE).

This kit will include about twenty practical sheets, based on the principle of the MunicipalESS Kit published in 2020, illustrated with examples, and presenting in a synthetic and concrete way how a regional council can include the SSE in its policies. Sheets 1 and 2 of the RegionalESS kit are SSE presentation sheets. They can be consulted under the references Social and Solidarity Economy: What are we talking about? (handout n°2504) and Why implement a cross-cutting policy to support the social and solidarity economy? (fact sheet n°2505).

Fact sheet 13 discusses the initiatives to be developed by the regions in the field of ecological and energy transitions.

As leaders in climate and energy action, the regions have a major role to play in driving an ambitious ecological and energy transition that will create territorial resilience. Through its competences, the region can influence the main sectors of activity that emit greenhouse gases: transport, agriculture, construction and industry.

Pioneering actors in the ecological transition, SSE structures are essential partners for the regions.

Include SSE actors in the preparation of the SRADDET

Regions can involve SSE actors in the preparation of their regional plan for sustainable development and territorial equality (SRADDET), a cross-cutting planning tool detailing the regions’ climate and energy objectives.

Ensuring that the region sets an example

The regions can use the levers of responsible public procurement (see Sheet No. 11), for example to supply regional buildings with local and cooperative renewable electricity, and to implement a thermal renovation and renewable energy production plan for their buildings, in conjunction with SSE actors.

They can renew the regional vehicle fleet and develop bicycle parking facilities for their staff, or promote organic/local sourcing in the collective catering of secondary schools (see sheet 9). Another possible lever is the supply of reused equipment (as provided for by the AGEC law).

Directing economic aid in favour of the transition

The regions can also develop eco-conditions and socio-conditions for their aid to businesses and individuals, for example in the area of building renovation (energy performance, bio-sourced materials, installation of a renewable energy production system, etc.).

As managers of European structural investment funds (FESI), regional councils can direct these funds towards SSE structures contributing to the ecological transition, in particular those of the European Leader programme, concerning agricultural and rural development policy (see sheet 9).

Supporting sustainable and inclusive mobility actors

Regions can support sustainable and inclusive mobility actors by supporting associations promoting soft mobility, carpooling and solidarity mobility platforms, and rail cooperatives (see the future dedicated sheet).

The SSE in the « Neo Terra » roadmap of the New Aquitaine region

The region of New Aquitaine adopted in 2019 a « Neo Terra » roadmap dedicated to the environmental and climate transition. Structured around major principles and specific objectives covering 11 ambitions, it refers, for certain objectives, directly or indirectly to the actors of the social and solidarity economy.

The regional council thus wishes to « make the region a territory for the creation of social and solidarity-based enterprises » and, for example, relies on SSE actors to « promote sorting, reuse and recycling », in particular by having « 100 recycling centres run by SSE actors ». It is also planned to « massively support eco-socio-responsible public purchases from virtuous companies in the region ».

Supporting solidarity-based players in the circular economy

SSE actors are pioneers in the recycling and reuse sectors (paper, textiles, electronic waste, etc.). In the framework of the legal obligation for local authorities to implement source separation of bio-waste from 2023 (TECV law), the Regions must plan the network of bio-waste recovery facilities on their territory. They can also support the development of a regional deposit system for reuse (glass packaging, take-away sales, etc.), in particular by supporting local reuse project leaders and the development of a logistics system.

In Brittany, the region supports the regional SSE and circular economy network, co-financed by ADEME and led by CRESS Bretagne, which aims in particular to support the increase in skills of SSE actors in emerging sectors and to promote the emergence of new sectors and activities.

Relying on SSE actors to support households in fuel poverty

As pilots of the public service of energy performance in housing, the regions can call on SSE actors, who develop many solutions to prevent or directly fight against fuel poverty, such as Doremi, which wants to make the complete and efficient renovation of individual houses accessible to all. This ESUS-approved company is developing partnerships with more than 50 local authorities and is supported by the regions of Nouvelle Aquitaine and Centre Val de Loire. We can also mention Echobat Développement, a network of eco-construction actors supported by the Pays-de-la-Loire region.

Supporting the development of citizen renewable energy production projects

Support for the management of citizen energy projects in Burgundy-Franche-Comté

In 2018, the Regional Council of Burgundy-Franche-Comté and ADEME launched a 3-year call for projects to support regional animation for the development of participatory and citizen renewable energy projects in the region. Through this call for projects, the region is supporting the establishment of a regional network and the animation of an ecosystem of actors, actions to support project leaders, actions to raise awareness among target audiences such as local authorities, citizens, private organisations, or communication actions to promote projects and capitalise on experiences.

In Occitania, 1€ Citizen = 1€ Region

The Occitanie region is committed to becoming the first positive energy region in Europe by 2050. This challenge implies, among other things, tripling the production of renewable energies.

Since 2014, the « Cooperative and Citizen Energies » call for projects, renewed in 2020, has supported 63 winners. Through this scheme, the Region mobilises various complementary intervention tools. The winning projects can thus benefit from aid for feasibility studies (up to €35,000 per winner) subsidised by ADEME and the Region, as well as investment aid, in the form of a citizen participation bonus, to the tune of €1 from the Region for €1 from the citizen (up to €100,000 per project leader). In total, €1 million in regional aid has been allocated in the framework of investment aid, and has enabled more than €3 million of investment to be made. In addition to this scheme, there are other calls for projects, and operators to help project leaders such as the Local and Renewable Citizen Energy network - EC’LR.

To go further

  • My region in action - levers for an ecological and fair transition, Climate Action Network, May 2021

  • Energy transition file on the Avise website

  • Special « Ecological transition » booklet in the toolkit Plaidoyer pour les élections territoriales, ESS France

  • L’action écologique des régions, La Fabrique écologique, 2021

  • Guide Les collectivités territoriales, parties prenantes des projets participatifs et citoyens d’énergie renouvelable, Énergie Partagée, 2017

  • RTES/Énergie partagée seminar « SSE policies, a lever for citizen renewable energy projects », 15 November 2018 and the feedback on the RTES/Energy Cities seminar « Citizen energy transition » of 16 June 2016

  • Carteco, the interactive map of SSE actors making the ecological transition, ESS France, 2021 (on 7 pilot regions today).