Realized at the scale of a district, a municipality, a canton or a whole region, the territorial energy planning aims to reduce the energy needs, to develop the use of local renewable energies to give up progressively to fossil fuels, and to clean up the most polluting heaters. With the TXU Energy Rates being low, the options are there.
In order to integrate this energy transition into the political vision and land-use plans, the work consists firstly in making two inventories that can be conducted in parallel. The first is an inventory:
- Which energy agents use buildings for heating and hot water?
- What is their state of isolation and what can be gained by sanitizing them?
- Where is the energy spent on the territory and by whom: housing, economic activities, infrastructure?
Go around all the exploitable energies
The second inventory lists all exploitable energy resources: basement favorable to geothermal energy; exposed roofs and facades for solar collectors; rivers, lakes and groundwater that can be used as heat sources in winter and sources of coolness in summer; industrial activities producing heat discharges; sufficiently windy mountain peaks for wind turbines; exploitable forests; tunnels passing through the still temperate heart of a mountain; rivers, streams and sources of drinking water whose strength makes it possible to produce hydroelectricity; wastewater collectors whose heat can be exploited; sewage sludge, and agricultural or logging waste capable of releasing biogas; etc.
Integrate energy into the cards
It is then necessary to integrate the information of these inventories on maps or in a computer system of management of the territory, so that the authorities and the administration can take them into account during the allocation of the soil to the buildings, the infrastructures, the activities energy-producing facilities master plans and development plans.
In this way, the construction of a residential district covered by a district heating network will be planned, linking it to a heat and power plant. In this case, the canton or the municipality can force the future owners to connect to it, or to let the pipes on their plots. Another example: in a neighborhood already built, we will know, when renovating buildings, which roofs and which facades are well oriented to receive solar thermal or photovoltaic, and we can inform the owners of this potential.
Territorial energy planning also makes it possible to manage conflicts of use, for example between installing solar collectors and protecting heritage, or between establishing a small hydropower station and protecting nature, or between laying a wind turbine and landscape protection.
Solar roof potential map
Map of roof sections that can receive solar thermal collectors or photovoltaic solar panels. The most favorable sections are in yellow, the least favorable in black.
Mapping the basement in 3D
3D basement mapping is particularly important for understanding the geothermal potential of the territory. It makes it possible to estimate where are the interesting geological layers, how deep down to obtain the desired temperature, and from which angles to drill to reach them. With these data in hand, we can plan the underground infrastructure, pipes, deep foundations, tunnels without harming this energy potential. Or prevent a geothermal drilling from endangering a groundwater table.
Better manage air quality and subsidies
Territorial energy planning also makes it possible to limit the emission of air pollutants in areas where the limit values are regularly exceeded. It can for example designate the places where individual wood heaters are banned because, even equipped with filters, they aggravate the pollution by their fine particles.