France to study tidal zones ahead of tender launch

Illustration/OpenHydro tidal turbine (Photo: Naval Energies)

French Secretary of State for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Sébastien Lecornu, has announced the launch of preliminary studies into the northern French tidal zones ahead of tender opening for the sector.

Speaking at the Colloque Annuel of Syndicat des Énergies Renouvelables (SER) on February 8, 2018, Lecornu revealed plans for preliminary studies into tidal zones in Brittany and Normandy set to start this year.

European industry body for ocean renewable energy, Ocean Energy Europe deemed the announcement as an important first step for the sector with a strong message that a tender for tidal energy could see France become the global center of tidal energy manufacturing.

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, welcomed the announcement and called for the launch of a tender for tidal energy as soon as possible.

Gruet said: “The stage is set for France to become the powerhouse of a global tidal energy industry. It has one of the most powerful tidal resources in the world; it has world-leading tidal technology, and it has an existing offshore supply-chain ready for action.

“A tender for tidal energy will see the first manufacturing plants come to France, creating a strong domestic industry, with significant export opportunities globally.

“The French government has clearly recognized this opportunity and it will be up to the sector to demonstrate the readiness of the technology and the progress achieved in the first pilot farms. We look forward to discussing the design of the tender, to ensure fast deployment and best use of public finances.”

The tides in northern France are among the most powerful in the world. Following a decade of R&D development, tidal energy technology is now ready to use this resource, according to Ocean Energy Europe.

Tidal farms are expected to generate predictable renewable energy, while creating significant jobs opportunities and local economic activity.

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