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New Energy Consultation Forum project to promote low carbon military camps

A French project idea to enhance the resilience and viability of fossil free and low carbon military camps has received funding from the French Ministry of Defence (MoD) for conducting a feasibility study. The 'ENSSURE' project (ENergy Self-Sufficient REsilient military base) was conceptualised under the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) under the leadership of France and with the support of Belgium, Bulgaria and Norway. EDA also provided technical support to the project, including for accessing EU funding.

ENSSURE aims at exploring the feasibility of energy self-sufficiency for infrastructure needs, including electrical islanding capacity, in small to medium-sized permanent military bases, through the combined use of renewable energy sources (RES), energy management and energy efficiency tools and methods (see project fact-sheet via this link).

In this regard, the project aims at implementing, on a medium size military base, a demonstrator including a wide range of energy performance actions. Buildings’ energy efficient’s renovation and ambitious energy management will be combined with a smart grid relying on renewable production and storage. This holistic approach will enable to reach:

  • Total fossil fuel independency for the buildings energy needs;
  • Near-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) related to the buildings;
  • Resilience of critical military activities through autonomous off-grid capability.

As a first step towards those ambitious objectives, the French MOD launched a feasibility study. The first goal of the study is to conduct an energy audit of the Nouâtre military site, where the ENSSURE demonstrator will be deployed. The second goal is to propose different scenarios to achieve the environmental and resilience objectives of the ENSSURE project and to compare those scenarios on technical, economical, and operational levels. And the third goal is to provide complementary information on the expected fallouts of the project. To support the implementation of the findings of the feasibility study, the French MoD will prepare a funding application for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Considering the potential impact of ENSSURE's implementation on the energy efficiency of military camps, EDA has provided technical assistance to the French MoD to elaborate the project idea and access national and EU funding.

EDA will continue providing the most mature defence energy-related projects with tailored support in their application for funding at the European or national level. This process has already led to the success of RESHUB – the first CF SEDSS project idea to receive EU funding. These achievements demonstrate that the Consultation Forum is the appropriate EU platform for initiating practical defence energy projects and bringing them to the next level.

About the CF SEDSS

The Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) is a European Commission funded initiative managed by the EDA. The Forum was established with the primary goal to create a defence energy-related community to share information, knowledge and best practices on improving energy management, increasing energy efficiency and buildings performance, utilising renewable energy sources in the defence sector and enhancing the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure. To address these objectives, and with the support of the European Commission, EDA has implemented two phases: the first phase took place from October 2015 to October 2017 and the second one from October 2017 to August 2019. Building on the successful outcome of these two phases and to address emerging and future challenges in the field of energy, EDA and the European Commission launched on 1 October 2019 the third phase, which will run over a period of four years until 30 September 2023. CF SEDSS phase III is funded by the European Union's (EU) Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No. 882171.

During phase III of the Consultation Forum, EDA supports Member States' MoD tackle energy security challenges, including energy efficiency and buildings performance, RES solutions and the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure. In this context, EDA helps MoDs to develop defence energy-related project ideas and identify available funding opportunities through its "IdentiFunding" tool.

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