With Dimosim, developing an Energy Master Plan for

The municipality of Barcelonnette, Pays Serre-Ponçon-Ubaye-Durance (Pays SUD) association and the CSTB have joined forces in a collaborative research project. The aim is to study the energy strategy of these local areas in the county of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, using Dimosim. This prospective engineering software developed by the CSTB simulates and compares various scenarios for 2030 and 2050, to improve planning for changes in the local energy system.

Challenges of experimentation

The project emerged from two aims. On the one hand, the local governments of Pays SUD want to find a new economic dynamic through the energy transition. Currently, their economy is essentially based on winter tourism at their ski resorts. The infrastructure for the production and distribution of energy is sized to meet demand during seasonal peaks, and the potential for the production of renewable energy is high in relation to the needs of the population. The aim is therefore to identify new energy scenarios for the next few decades, which optimize local resources.

At the same time, the CSTB wanted to experiment its Dimosim software, developed to provide a prospective vision of the organization of an energy system, i.e. production, networks and consumption, consistent with the resources and constraints of a local area. The result of 3 years of research and a thesis, this tool can simulate various scenarios, taking account of the interactions between buildings and networks. For the CSTB, implementing Dimosim for Pays SUD represents an excellent opportunity. The experiments will enable the CSTB to continue improving the tool, in response to the tangible expectations of the local area's stakeholders.

Implementation and prospects

For the CSTB, the first step consisted of entering a certain amount of information into Dimosim about the current situation of the local area. This includes the thermal and geometric characteristics of the buildings, the topology of the distribution networks and the technical data of the production facilities. In 2016, the CSTB collected this data. Next, it developed and calibrated the benchmark scenario, which describes the current situation of two pilot local areas: Les Orres and Barcelonnette.

For each of these two local areas, the local governments and the CSTB began developing two energy transition scenarios: one medium-term scenario (for 2030) planning for the deployment of today's most mature and cost-effective technologies, and a long-term scenario (for 2050) that targets the energy autonomy of the local area.

Thanks to its versatility and calculation performance, Dimosim can quickly and inexpensively explore the various energy alternatives available to local areas. In 2017, the CSTB will finalize the study in Les Orres and Barcelonnette.

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