Paul Lucchese, Deputy Director of Capenergies, elected IEA Hydrogen Chairman

Paul Lucchese, Deputy Director of the Capenergies competitiveness cluster, was appointed chairman of the International Energy Agency’s Hydrogen Implementing Agreement** (HIA) on 16 June 2017 for a 3-year term. Prior to this, he was the CEA** representative at the Energy & Climate Change Department under the French Ministry of Environment.


TheHydrogen Implementing Agreement is one of 40 technology collaboration programmes (TCP) at the International Energy Agency (IEA). The purpose of this agreement is to foster scientific, technical and analytical collaboration on hydrogen technologies, a key energy vector in the international arena.

Paul Lucchese said: “My election as chairman of the HIA will give both the French industry and the Capenergies cluster an opportunity to strengthen international collaboration in the hydrogen sector, thus supporting the cluster’s international strategy. It should also be easier to closely follow any global initiatives launched within the scope of the Paris agreement on climate change (COP 21).”

The HIA has been managing a portfolio of projects involving R&D, demonstration and global analysis since 1977, through which it has gained global recognition for its technical expertise in the hydrogen community. The HAI currently boasts 22 countries as partners, as well as the European Commission, the German national organisation for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies (NOW), the Hysafe association, and sponsors such as Shell and the Southern Company.

More information sur

Press release

* Technology collaboration programme (TCP)

** French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission

Capenergies plays a leading role in the new #CleanTech #Mobility thematic network in the PACA region

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) Region is confirming its position as a leading Smart Region, with Aix-Marseille French Tech and French Tech Côte d’Azur selected for the #CleanTech #Mobility network. This move will forge closer ties between the two French Tech initiatives in southern France, through the CleanTech Mobility network, facilitated by Capenergies.

The cluster has also submitted an application to become the Secretary of the national #Cleantech #Mobility network, enabling it to coordinate and implement the future joint roadmap for all French start-ups in the sector. The national Secretary – elected from among the 15 winning members of the #Cleantech #Mobility network – will be chosen in autumn 2016.

French Tech themed networks

On 25 July 2016 in Laval, Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector, and Axelle Lemaire, French Secretary of State for the Digital Sector, officially confirmed the Métropoles French Tech labels and announced the launch of a series of themed networks to push ahead with the French Tech initiative.

French Tech themed networks

· 1 call for projects

· 113 projects submitted

· 21 territories selected

· 9 themed networks created

Clean Tech-03


Aix-Marseille French Tech and French Tech Côte d’Azur have now joined the #CleanTech #Mobility network, which builds on a well-established regional ecosystem that specialises in this high-potential sector.

Aix-Marseille French Tech

Aix-Marseille French Tech was selected for 4 themed networks: CleanTech & Mobility (environment, sustainable development, energy, smart city, mobility, etc.), HealthTech (health, medicine, biotech, etc.), IOT & Manufacturing (connected objects, drones, 3D printers, etc.) and Sports.


frenchtec_01 The consortium for the CleanTech & Mobility network is spearheaded by Capenergies, the Arbois-Mediterranean Environment Technology Park and thecamp (a digital innovation campus) and brings together a number of local stakeholders involved in green economic development, including Safe_Cluster, Ea Éco-entreprises, Marseille Provence CCI, Provence Promotion, Pays d’Aix business incubators, Pays d’Aix Développement, and the IMPULSE inter-university incubator.


The consortium members decided to submit an application with Aix-Marseille French Tech to strengthen local joint initiatives and to play a full, active role in the national CleanTech network. The start-ups supported by the consortium are already making waves on the global stage (CES Las Vegas, COP 21, World Water Forum, International Environmental Technology Fair, Smart City Expo, International Environmental Protection & Eco-City Expo, Interschutz, etc.). These companies are pioneers in CleanTech, smart cities, mobility, health and the environment, and now have access to an important discussion and innovation resource. In Aix-Marseille, some 60 innovative, high-growth firms working in this field have decided to join forces.

Capenergies, the Arbois-Mediterranean Environment Technology Park, thecamp and their partners have teamed up with Aix-Marseille French Tech in the #CleanTech #Mobility network to press ahead with initiatives in three key areas: supporting and promoting the existing ecosystem and expanding its reach to global networks, encouraging the emergence of new innovative projects, and attracting talented people to the region to raise its standing in the field.

French Tech Côte d’Azur

frenchtec_02The government has also strengthened French Tech Côte d’Azur’s leadership in three areas: CleanTech & Mobility (environment, sustainable development, energy, smart city, mobility, etc.), EdTech & Entertainment (education, training, creative industries, etc.), and Security & Privacy (cybersecurity and digital security, personal data protection, etc.).

“The CleanTech & Mobility themed network reflects a strong dynamic within our department, with 55% of eco-firms working in the energy sector, employing more than 3,000 people and having combined turnover of around €1.2 billion,” said Jean-François Chapperon, Deputy Director of French Tech Côte d’Azur. “Some 25% of these companies operate throughout France or worldwide, 30% are more than 10 years old, 25% are less than 3 years old, and 66% of employees work for firms with more than 50 staff.” The region’s sterling reputation in this field is further encouraged by the successful Smart Campus Nice Sophia Antipolis and FLEXGRID projects for the Smart Grids Industrial Plan scheme, and by vibrant coordination of the sector, under the leadership of the Club Smart Grids Côte d’Azur, founded by CCINCA, which has helped develop a number of smart grids start-ups in tandem with local incubators.

The French Tech Côte d’Azur consortium brings together businesses, support structures and local authorities, including EDF, Engie, Enedis, Dalkia, GE, Schneider Electric, GRDF, Green Planet Architects, WIT, Augier, UCA, Mines ParisTech, IMREDD, Incubateur PACA EST, CEEI, Sophia Conseil, Com4innov, Angelsbay, Kapitalium, Métropole NCA, CCINCA and UPE06. All members are committed to making the consortium a success.

The consortium members opted for a joint application to play a full, active role in the national CleanTech & Mobility network. The start-ups – M2M Solutions, Gridbee, Qualisteo, Greencomm Networks, Vulog, DSTI, Imtech, Le Be, Advansolar, Azurra Lights, Gridpocket, Valenergies, Senseor, Kinaxia – are future champions that are already making waves on the global stage at events such as Innovative City, CES Las Vegas, COP 21, World Water Forum, International Environmental Technology Fair, Smart City Expo, International Environmental Protection & Eco-City Expo and Interschutz. They represent a wide spectrum of the smart grids value chain, including future energy production, new local consumption optimisation models, future metering solutions, social and smart building design and engineering, social and behavioural support for consumers, innovative data network engineering and production, and big data management training.

PPE 2016-2023: The energy transition is underway in Corsica

Gilles Simeoni, President of Corsica’s Executive Council, convened a meeting on 4 February to discuss joint initiatives under the multi-year energy programme (PPE), Corsica’s new future energy roadmap. The meeting was attended by Bernard Mahiou, Managing Director of the Capenergies cluster, Jean-Christophe Angelini, Executive Council member, President of the Corsican economic development agency and Vice-President of Capenergies, Fabienne Giovannini, Executive Council member and President of the Corsican sustainable development, planning and urban development agency, and Josépha Giacometti, Executive Council member with responsibility for culture, higher education and research. Jean-Christophe Angelini, recently appointed as Vice-President of Capenergies, used this day-long event dedicated to the energy transition in Corsica to remind colleagues that Corsica and the Capenergies cluster have a shared vision of this roadmap, with similar views on operational scale-up, synergy and pooled initiatives. The PPE roadmap was adopted in late 2015, with an investment budget of €3.112 billion and plans to create 5,000 new jobs between 2016 and 2023.

An ambitious energy programme

The PPR roadmap is a central pillar of Corsica’s energy transition, setting out its energy policy objectives, identifying the key challenges and risks in this area, and providing guidance for public stakeholders. The PPE will guarantee:

  • fuel supply security and lower primary fossil energy consumption in the transport sector
  • electricity supply security
  • greater energy efficiency and lower electricity consumption
  • support for renewables.

If the programme is fully implemented, it will amount to investment of around €3.1 billion between 2016 and 2023.

Corsica is the first region not connected to the main French grid to produce a PPE.

The PPE at a glance

The aim, between 2016 and 2023, is to build on the existing situation (in 2015) as follows:

➪ ➪ Launch a vast building renovation plan, costing €960 million and involving 3,000 homes per year.

➪ ➪ Launch a vast renewables plan at a cost of €472 million::

    • Renewable electricity production: €310 million
    • Renewable thermal, wood and solar (in particular): €162 million

Increase installed electrical power from guaranteed renewable sources (excluding major hydroelectric power plants) by 148%

Increase installed electrical power from intermittent renewable sources by 38%

➪ Invest €1.475 billion in infrastructure and networks: Replace the Vaziu power plant with a 250 MW combined-cycle gas plant running on light fuel oil pending the arrival of gas, install the Cyrénée gas pipeline network, and build natural gas supply infrastructure

➪ Invest €205 million in sustainable transport and mobility

Corsica: a hub of innovation

Implementation of this new roadmap will build on Corsica’s outstanding innovation potential and involve experimental use of new technologies.

For building renovation – a key component of the PPE, which sets out plans to renovate 3,000 homes each year – Corsica has already undertaken innovative projects such as the Mediterranean Education and Accommodation Centre in Ajaccio. The project, spearheaded by the Southern Corsica Regional Chamber of Trades and Crafts and accredited by Capenergies in 2011, involves the restructuring of a building to create 44 new social homes for young people on apprenticeship training schemes and to create a new extension specifically for renewable energy education. The new centre will be an exemplary low-consumption building, designed as a teaching resource for renewables educators. The ORELI (Tools for the Energy Renovation of Individual Homes) project is another example of Corsican innovation. It involves plans to renovate 200 homes, to foster a new mass deployment strategy, and to develop operational tools for the building renovation sector.



The day of meetings with Corsica’s new Executive Council members ended with a tour of the MYRTE and PAGLIA ORBA technology platforms, which combine solar power with storage units and smart grids. Bernard Mahiou marked the occasion by recalling that implementing these innovative new technologies, and meeting the targets set in the new energy roadmap, will require changes to existing electricity grids. Corsica’s energy practices are changing and it is now harder to bridge the gap between supply and demand, chiefly because of the addition of intermittent renewables, where production does not track consumption patterns. This means that Corsica needs new, smart grids, akin to the technologies deployed in the PACA Region’s FLEXGRID programme (which could be replicated in Corsica).

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region – a hotbed of positive-energy areas for green growth

In total, 528 applications were received for the positive-energy areas for green growth (TEPCV) call for projects, reflecting widespread local mobilisation on energy transition matters. In February 2015, French Minister Ségolène Royal announced the 212 winners of the TEPCV label, each of which will receive €500,000 of financial assistance to implement projects in six key areas: energy efficiency, electric mobility, circular economy, biodiversity, citizenship, and local promotion. The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region is home to eight of the selected territories, as well as 20 areas selected under the “future positive-energy territories” scheme.

Below are examples of two of the TEPCV territories: Pays Serre-Ponçon Ubaye Durance and Nice Côte d’Azur

Pays Serre-Ponçon Ubaye Durance’s strategy is to become a “100% positive-energy territory, helping to drive local development” and, ultimately, to pave the way for sustainable development. This local initiative spans a two-year period and costs a total of €988,000.
The area’s bid is divided into six flagship actions, spread across the territory.
The first action involves establishing an Alpine eco-cluster, encompassing the Pays Sud and Communauté des Communes de l’Embrunais areas, to drive economic development by creating a productive ecosystem that spurs business growth in sustainable construction, building and territory energy efficiency, and renewable energy production. This will be achieved through local, cross-border and European partnership programmes.
The second action, focusing this time on behavioural sociology, aims to develop awareness-raising, communication and education campaigns to get local authorities, local decision-makers and citizens involved in implementing exemplary energy transition initiatives.
Other actions will concentrate on urban planning, including a property development project in the Saint Laurent district, an energy self-sufficient eco-district, and the creation and development of a car-sharing area in the Communauté des Communes du Savinois Serre Ponçon – an alternative to public transport in a location with challenging terrain. Further major initiatives will focus on energy efficiency, including the deployment of street lighting energy renovation projects in Barcelonnette. This will involve replacing 634 inefficient street lamps, modernising 25 control boxes, and replacing 150 bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives, helping to reduce street lighting energy consumption by 30%.The Embrunais-Savinois inter-communal street lighting authority will also be undertaking a similar initiative, renovating its equipment to cut total electricity use by 50%. Finally, a social housing building in Saint-Vincent-Les-Forts will undergo an energy renovation project, with a view to providing low-cost rental properties powered by renewable energy.

The Nice Côte d’Azur (NCA) territory is also looking to develop a stand-out strategy, focusing on three major actions. NCA’s first action involves modernising all of the street lamps across the metropolitan area, reducing power from 130 W to 50 W per lamp (2.6 times less than the initial consumption figure).

The second initiative focuses on “clean mobility”, reflecting the strategy outlined in the Alpes Maritimes Sud atmosphere protection plan. The target is for all fleets in excess of 50 vehicles to have at least 30% clean vehicles. This will be done by replacing the existing vehicle fleet with electric alternatives. The ultimate aim is to achieve emissions of 110 gCO2/km across the entire fleet, thereby saving 38 tCO2eq per year.

The final action involves increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix. One of the major initiatives involves exploring the feasibility of a hydroelectric power plant in the Haut Pays Niçois area (on the Vionène river). If feasible, the power plant should attain production output of around 7,500 MWh per year.

Local energy transition stakeholders give their views

What is your territory’s energy transition strategy?
Chantal Eymeoud, President of Pays S.U.D.: The basic premise of our intended energy transition strategy is to become electricity and heat self-sufficient. We’re also looking to boost economic growth through the green economy and mountain areas. In my view, the work we’re doing on ultra-energy-efficient mountain resorts and engaging with economic stakeholders is crucial to our territory’s future.

How will you know if the TEPCV initiative has been effective?
Yves Prufer, Head of the Metropolitan Energy Performance Agency, Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur (NCA): The project will be a success if all the actions are carried through to completion, including building the hydroelectric power plant, putting a funding strategy in place and establishing a project management framework. TEPCV is a “catalyst for local authority initiatives”.