18 November 2020

TerriSTORY®: Everything that’s needed for a success story

Two years after its launch by the regional AURA-EE agency with the backing of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and the national energy agency ADEME, TerriSTORY®, a Web-based decisional aid tool for districts committed to the ecological transition , is already a uniting force for a number of regions and partners. They all share the conviction that data on the climate, air, energy, and environment must be managed as a common resource to accelerate the transition. We interview AURA-EE manager Didier Château

AURA-EE manager Didier Château

Can you tell us what spurred the creation of this tool?

At the start, the thinking behind this Web tool was to enable better monitoring of public energy transition policies in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region by providing reliable indicators to guide the thinking of all sizes of district. The initial observation was that serious acceleration was needed to reach a situation whereby the very ambitious goals set for 2050 could be met. Today’s issues are becoming more and more complex. Twenty years ago the logic was one of supporting and developing renewables; now we need to pull several levers simultaneously—developing the circular economy, decarbonizing transportation, shortening supply circuits, decentralizing energy production, etc.—and that’s a much more complex matter due to potential conflicts of interest and need. Arising from these observations, an evident priority was the need for better knowledge of the specifics of one’s own district or region through access to reliable, consolidated data. The terristory.fr tool is a compilation of numerous multi-issue territorial indicators along with a set of features for planning, establishing, monitoring, and assessing a district’s transitional trajectory.
Socioeconomic impacts—reduced energy bills, added value generation, local tax benefits—along with environmental impacts like the avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions can for example be perceived by simulating various scenarios. Therefore it's a decisional aid tool for local councillors, it’s an information tool for a much broader audience with very transparent access to the compiled data, and last but not least, it’s a medium for developing cooperation between neighbouring districts.

What conclusions can you draw from its first two years of operation?

Very positive and encouraging conclusions. Why? First of all because in less than 18 months, six regions have joined us in developing the tool and using it in their region, thereby confirming the real need to share knowledge of air/climate/energy data on one hand and the relevance of our tool concept on the other. We have therefore created a consortium to manage its further development.
Furthermore, in late January, 2020 at the Assises européennes de la transition énergétique  convention, national operators—Enedis, GRDF, GRT gaz, RTE—along with the regional energy/climate agencies (AREC) in Occitanie and Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the network of regional energy & environment agencies (RARE), the Inria research institute, and Atmo France have all joined the TerriSTORY® consortium. What’s very enriching is that we’re bringing together data producers capable of feeding into the tool as well as local authorities who initiate public policies and are therefore first in line when it comes to defining expectations.
A last positive sign is that TerriSTORY® has become a go-to tool in Auvergne Rhône Alpes, notably in districts involved in the TEPOSCV (positive energy territory) initiative, who account for around 60% of the regional population.   

What are your next objectives?

We’re not at the end of the path but the lights are green for TerriSTORY® to establish itself as a constantly improving public collaboration tool, designed by and for local stakeholders themselves. It’s a tool that instils awareness and provides a benchmark framework for defining the best development paths, i.e., built on a foundation of territorial potential and resources instead of on whatever funding was available.
Within the consortium, we collectively interrogate relevant data, select indicators, devise ways to optimize their reliability.
Our short-term objectives are therefore to continue expanding the database while urging districts to define and share a formalized trajectory for their transition. A common difficulty encountered by local authorities is to put this trajectory in writing to make it a life project for the territory, one that makes sense to inhabitants. Being rooted in the district, enabling scenario simulations, enlightening choices, TerriSTORY® sets out to help these people. And of course it’s also our ambition to bring new stakeholders into the consortium to extend its territorial coverage and achieve stronger partnerships. 

Examples of indicators TerriSTORY® makes available to regional networks, EPCIs, TEPOSCV and municipalities 
•    Energy consumption broken down per sector (residential, industry, transport, etc.), per energy type, per use (heating, cooking, cooling, etc.)
•    Renewable energy production per source sector (solar, wind, biogas, wood, etc.)
•    Greenhouse gas emissions broken down per sector, energy type, use
•    Air quality, with three types of pollutant records: NOx gases, micro-particles, ozone
•    Transportation: home-work traffic flows, motorway traffic flows, etc.
•    Energy invoices per inhabitant in EPCI* districts
•    Impact on employment and value creation of actions undertaken
•    Energy precarity per municipality
•    Socioeconomic indicators: employment rates per municipality, organic farming land, etc.

Find out more and discover the tool on : 

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