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02. Cultural Heat Network: Ville de Fourmies FR

Posted January 13, 2020


The pilot is located in the heart of Fourmies and involves 5 community buildings: a ‘Smart Commercial Space’ (social hub with Fab Lab, coworking space, music school, restaurant…), city municipal office, theatre, city education administration office and a museum. These buildings and adjacent car park are owned by the city. This layout is very well adapted to create a heat network between these buildings. Additional community buildings may also be added later.

Fourmies has a strategy to achieve local, renewable energy self-sufficiency, including photovoltaic, geothermal and heat pump solutions. But energy self-sufficiency will be mostly reach through local wood – 48% of the municipality is covered by forest. In this pilot Fourmies plans to connect the 4 buildings to a heat network, powered by a shared wood boiler using sustainable wood from a durable forest populated by native varieties. Wood is a zero CO2 emission energy, because it only emits the CO2 it captured during growth. CO2 emission from processing and transport these will be minimised as we use locally sourced wood.

The pilot is located in the centre of the city. Moreover, the network will supply four buildings very frequently visited (around 200 000 visitors/year). Fourmies has always worked with citizens to build a shared vision of the future. This project is great opportunity to carry on this dynamic, adding for example social housing tenants. Even if wood is already used by inhabitants for household heating, public meeting and workshops will be organised to co-create this project, and raise awareness about the energy transition. The collective wood-burning heating system will be an example to discuss how wood can be a local clean energy with a great economic potential.

There are still several barriers for wood systems adoption by homeowners (wood storage, in-house air quality). The investment in the collective wood boiler system will give the opportunity for example to share a wood storage premise, if the co-creation process highlights this idea. We will engage around 50 local households in the pilot process through our co-creation pilot in WP2.

Current gas consumption of the 4 buildings is around 1 296MWh/year, emitting 379t of CO2e. By replacing this with wood, we will reduce 264t of CO2e emission from fossil fuels per year

Combined, the 5 community buildings have around 200.000 visitors/users per year (on average 500+/day) that benefit from the investment and will be informed about urgency and possibilities for sustainable heating thought this pilot