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France Hosts Third Session of the Global Sustainable Cities Network

Thursday, June 25, 2015

France Hosts Third Session of the Global Sustainable Cities Network

The third session of the Global Sustainable Cities Network provided a unique opportunity for multilateral exchange and to develop partnerships of city level actors in the Global Sustainable City Network. Photo credit: @DECC_UAE on twitter.

France recently hosted the third session of the Global Sustainable Cities Network (GSCN), a Clean Energy Ministerial initiative that provides a platform for sustainable city initiatives throughout the world. The four-day programme included a combination of site visits, moderated workshop discussions and formal conferences that took place in Nantes, Paris and Montpelier, France.

The session provided a unique opportunity for multilateral exchange and to develop partnerships of city level actors in the Global Sustainable City Network, focusing primarily on the following topics:

  • Energy Efficiency & Demand Side Management
  • Smart Grids, Metering and Household Appliances
  • Sustainable City Planning and Green Urban Design
  • Sustainable Waste Management and Waste-to-Energy
  • District Heating and Cooling

The session was organized with the support of MASDAR, the UAE Secretariat of GSCN, and the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DECC-MOFA). It was done in partnership with VIVAPOLIS, the French initiative to bring together public and private stakeholders to promote sustainable urban development at an international level. It took place under the chairmanship of Michele Pappalardo, the VIVAPOLIS co-coordinator, and also had support and participation from French agencies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAEDI), the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE), the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME), and the French Senate.

Participants also included representatives from industry, from French cities such as Nantes, Le Havre, Lyon, Mulhouse, Montpellier, Nice, and the Paris area, from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, and from UAE federal and local governments, municipalities, energy entities and regulators.

The first day of the meeting took place in Nantes with presentations on Nantes’ waste management public policy and the city’s hosting of the tenth Ecocity World Summit in 2013. Abu Dhabi will be hosting the 2015 Ecocity World Summit later this year. The day concluded with site visits to a waste-to-energy plant that uses the Rankine Organic Cycle (ROC) technology and a medical waste treatment unit.

The group moved to Paris for day two, visiting the IssyGrid Project to inspect energy optimization and smart grid application on a district scale. The group also visited the Schneider Electric offices, touring its SmartGrids showroom and HIVE energy display, and Veolia’s Waste valorization facility, Plessis Gassot, which uses biogas to produce energy.

Day three took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris and consisted of group discussions on waste-to-energy and demand side management. The waste-to-energy group examined waste treatment trends in different countries, including integration of waste management into a circular economy, waste disposal versus waste transformation, and methods of reusing waste in industrial applications. The demand side management group discussed different aspects of planning demand side management, including managing high consumption peaks and strategies for smart grid implementation.

On the final day of the GSCN session, the group travelled to Montpellier in the south of France and visited a wood transformation unit that provides heat, cold, and energy; Alstom’s Smart Grid Centre of Excellence; and Ametyst, a high-technology methanisation unit that produces electricity and heat using biogas from compost.
The four day programme closed with the group discussing next steps for GSCN.

All presentations from the four days are available on the Global Sustainable Cities Network web page.

About GSCN

The Global Sustainable Cities Network is a Clean Energy Ministerial initiative whose participating members are Finland, France, Sweden, and the UAE. The overarching objectives are (1) to provide network members with unbiased information about policy, technology, and supplier performance in clean energy supply and energy efficiency; and (2) to introduce members to potential partners. The first GSCN meeting was held in June 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden, and examined technology choices and policy approaches for the network’s initial focus areas of waste-to-energy and demand-side management. The second GSCN meeting was held in Abu Dhabi in January 2014 as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.