The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Citoyennes et Locales Énergie (AURACLE) network brings together project leaders, local authorities, institutional actors and support structures who wish to share their experiences in setting up renewable energy production projects involving citizens. It currently has nearly 70 members and is run by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Énergie Environnement (AURA-EE).

The challenges of citizen investment in RE projects

What is at stake through this type of investment is the reappropriation of energy by citizens, not only in financial terms through their involvement in the capital of territorial projects, but also through their active participation in the fundamental reflections and governance of projects.

More and more local elected officials see citizen investment as a way to carry out projects in consultation with local stakeholders and to facilitate social acceptance.

As early as 2009, the Monts du Pilat community of municipalities invited citizens to participate in the project steering committee for the study of the wind power development zone (ZDE). The participatory dynamic set in motion in the area by the shared work of reflection and information of the inhabitants led to the creation, in 2013, of the SAS Les Ailes de Taillard, associating a developer (50%), the local authorities (25%) and the citizens (25%). Successful participatory development in 2017 with all administrative authorisations obtained


AURACLE: a network that belongs to Energie Partagée

All the citizen projects in the AURACLE network meet the criteria of the Energie Partagée Charter, which brings together the founding principles of the citizen project movement in France:

  • Non-speculative goal: ethics of the social and solidarity economy, which aims at access to energy at a fair and transparent price (limited return on capital, investments made to be directly exploited);
  • Ecological requirement: respect for the environment and a reduction in energy consumption;
  • Local anchoring: control of the renewable energy production company by local actors, objective of short circuit between producers and consumers;
  • Open governance: democratic/cooperative operation of the project operating company, community control of production prices, full transparency.

These requirements represent a common basis on which project leaders should build. However, as each project is unique, the implementation of these criteria is adapted to the context on the ground and to the wishes of the stakeholders of a renewable energy production project.

More than 65 project groups

Created in 2013 on the initiative of AURA-EE and financed by ADEME and the Region, AURACLE is made up of citizen energy production cooperatives, local authorities and support structures involved in citizen renewable energy projects: 65 project groups are thus able to exchange their problems, their know-how and their tools. As the cradle of the Centrales Villageoises, the region is very dynamic in terms of citizen projects, which can count on the support of local support structures and the technical and financial assistance of the Region and ADEME.

The Centrales Villageoises are part of the AURACLE network. They are citizen projects of photovoltaic clusters developed according to a particular model. The Association des Centrales Villageoises brings together these projects and offers development support tools.


The AURACLE network was initially set up mainly around solar projects, in particular via the Centrales Villageoises dynamic. Then, other project leaders in the wind, wood energy and biomethane sectors joined the network, which continues to operate informally today.

The services offered by the network are

  • Privileged access to shared resources (model statutes, shareholder agreements, management tools, etc.);
  • Mobilisation of local authorities and local actors on the subject of local and citizen energy;
  • Occasional support for projects;
  • Training in the regions;
  • Two annual meetings for exchanges and workshops;
  • A quarterly newsletter that echoes initiatives, projects, meetings and "what not to miss".

The AURACLE network has been an important support in the implementation of our photovoltaic projects: we have been able to benefit from advice on project management assistance, on hydroelectricity, and on the revision of statutes. I am impressed by the mobilisation of the network's actors and the wealth of "feedback": the exchanges via AURACLE stimulate our own energy and creativity!


[Page updated on Septembre 2022]