Nord-Pas de Calais Third Industrial Revolution Master Plan 2013
- Nord-Pas de Calais Third Industrial Revolution Master Plan – 2013. Prepared by the TIR Consulting Group LLC.
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"The overall goal of the Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) in Nord-Pas de Calais is to make the regional economy one of the most resource-efficient, productive and sustainable in the world.
The first step of this transformation is to seek energy efficiency in any infrastructure investment and to revisit behaviors and decisions under the lens of efficiency: Energy savings creates jobs by redirecting the economy toward more labor-intensive industries. This energy efficiency fundament is the catalyzer for a circular economy and for the 5 Pillar infrastructure to be built simultaneously.
The first pillar is the shift toward renewable energies: The total cost of renewable energies is decreasing as an exponential curve, and their marginal production cost is close to zero. The Region should accelerate the renewable production through sectorial and fiscal approaches, and should facilitate an industrial export strategy to also capture the commercial opportunities from Northern Europe investments. This pillar should be coupled with Pillar 2 that aims at transforming buildings into micro-power plants, keeping the priority on the thermal energy efficiency of buildings.
Pillar 2 will start first with a large-scale retrofitting and refurbishment program combined with a land conversion program in brownfield and mines sites. These two programs, driven by the Region, enable buildings and land regeneration. Old mines or industrial sites will be converted to restore biodiversity, creating the first steps toward the “Biosphere Valley”. The business model of such programs is based on land and real estate valorization. Furthermore, a cooperative financing model, using energy savings, can be established to support the investment, while involving private investors in the Third Industrial Revolution. As a result of these investments, the region will be equipped with near-zero marginal cost renewable energy combined with longlasting energy savings. In addition, such programs will create employment in the short term in the region. The region is to become a whole Biosphere Valley that educates students and promotes behavior changes toward the biosphere, resource efficiency, a reduced environmental footprint, and a high industrial productivity. The Biosphere Valley is actually the first regional industrial cluster for a circular economy.
Pillar 3 – Energy storage will be provisioned and planned, taking into account energy exchanges to neighboring countries or regions and the combined effect of Pillars 1 and 2. Driven by efficient buildings and optimized energy consumption, the regional need for energy will diminish. The share of renewable energy will nonetheless dramatically increase, beyond today’s 2 to 4 percent of the regional energy mix. The national market for energy storage today is not mature (no existing regulation, nor subsidies) but recent negative prices on gross electricity trading create the need for storage. The first storage capacity will come with electric vehicles. In addition, renewable biomass methanization can create flexibility in the energy system. Further, the Region needs to take advantage of its hydrogen grid (a unique asset in France) and the experimentation in Dunkirk for power-to-gas technologies. Methanation, compressed air energy storage and hydraulic storage will be developed too on an ad hoc basis.
Pillar 4 – The Energy Internet, directly linked with Pillar 2—the Biosphere Valley rehabilitation program—aims to roll out a smart grid in the whole regional territory. This will first consist in opening access to detailed historical energy consumption data: This is a prerequisite to building refurbishment under Energy Performance Contracting schemes. The refurbishment program will lead to third-party investment, energy consumption reduction and virtual power plants, which need to be supported by energy providers. Establishing cross-border grid interconnection, especially with the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium, will enable the region to export excess energy. Real-time access to data will also enable the region to create room for maneuvering and optimizing energy production and export on account of demand response programs (“effacement”) in residential or industrial buildings.
Pillar 5 – Plug-in and fuel cell transport complements the four preceding pillars. To support the construction works required to realize the retrofitting and land conversion programs (Pillar 2), an energy-efficient transportation solution should be developed in parallel. This will be the start of the Logistics Internet, for the transit of goods: The lighthouse Zen-e-Ville program under Pillar 2 should respect the principles of a collaborative logistics plan, where electric trucks and warehouses are shared among material and goods providers. And conversely, these projects will provide the opportunity to test and demonstrate plug-in and multimodal solutions before a regional deployment beyond goods-to-people mobility.
Synergies among the 5 Pillars all contribute to greater levels of energy efficiency and provide the foundation for the Third Industrial Revolution to happen.
Thermodynamic efficiency improvements enable productivity gains that can be directed toward greater innovation, job creation and cross-border attractiveness.
According to the DEEPER model, the Third Industrial Revolution will require the injection of 6 billion euros per year to reduce the final energy use by 60 percent by 2050. This effort will create more than 150,000 net jobs from direct investment and indirectly from an increased productivity. This effort is less risky than not doing it: A business-asusual scenario without increasing the energy efficiency, but without increasing the energy prices, will reduce employment by 100,000 jobs by 2050.
A key to success toward the Third Industrial Revolution is a shared political consciousness of the biosphere. Universities should play a key role here: The academics will lead the biosphere awareness effort by educating the students and also monitoring the progress of the Third Industrial Revolution using a key set of sustainability, social and economic indicators. Eventually, strong program management will be needed from the Region, as dynamic planning and rigorous execution will be the key in delivering the TIR. The Third Industrial Revolution Master Plan, jointly conceived by Nord-Pas de Calais and the TIR Consulting Group LLC, provides a road map for steering the region into a new economic era that will spawn the new businesses and employment opportunities of a sustainable 21st century."