After a long history of coal mining – the last mine in France was still in operation in the region in 2004 – Lorraine has now been converted to the virtues of renewable energies. To put fossil fuels in the past, the urban community of Greater Nancy has banked on biomass as part of the Greater Nancy Regional Climate, Air and Energy Plan, adopted in December 2012. The voluntary approach to achieve the ‘three twenties’ objective (1) was recognised by the Citoyenne Energies awards in 2013.
Supported by Dalkia, the community has set up a number of complementary district heating networks. And the aim is to use fuels of all kinds.
The Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy urban heating network combines biomass – using wood for energy – and recovering heat from a waste incineration plant, providing 13,000 inhabitants with optimum comfort. At the cutting edge of sustainable development, the site also features 260 m2 of photovoltaic panels and a green roof that includes beehives. Ultimately, the site is 84% powered by renewable energy sources – avoiding 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
EAt the cutting edge of sustainable development, the site also features 260 m2 of photovoltaic panels and a green roof that includes beehives.
Although the first heating plant uses two wood boilers, the second is much more imaginative. Using a multiple fuel boiler, it can use both gas and a blend of animal and vegetable fat in turn, collected from catering companies, the agri-food industry, and deoilers at purification plants!
Finally, upstream of the energy facilities, the final component of this exemplary system is a biomass hub. Sorting, cleaning, drying, and preparing wood chips – up to 80,000 tonnes of wood can be stored and processed every year, the vast majority of which is from forests, but also from carpenters, sawmills, and pallet and crate recycling. It’s a way to move to clean, local energy – for good.
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(1) A three-part aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, to make energy savings of 20%, and to ensure 20% of total energy consumed is renewable energy – and all by 2020.