France is desirous of sending a message to the world about its potential role in the hydropower sector with the announcement of preliminary studies that would reportedly lead to the launch of tidal energy tenders. The new tender for tidal energy is expected to see the country poised as a global centre of tidal energy manufacturing.
Speaking at the Renewable Energies Union’s Annual Symposium (Colloque Annual of Syndicat des Énergies Renouvelables (SER)), in Paris, Sébastien Lecornu, France’s Secretary of State for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, announced the launch of preliminary studies of tidal zones in Brittany and Normandy in 2018. It is said that the country’s northern coast had been a target for years, and officials reportedly met with the representatives from Scotland’s European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in 2013 to explore the potential for test beds near Brittany and Normandy.
Meanwhile, Remi Gruet, CEO of multinational think-tank Ocean Energy Europe reiterated that the stage was set for France to become the global powerhouse in the tidal energy industry. He added that the country was one of the most powerful tidal resources in the world and it had existing offshore supply-chain ready for action. He said the first manufacturing plants would create a strong domestic industry with significant export opportunities globally.
Gruet also stated that the French Government had clearly recognised the opportunity and it would be up to the sector to demonstrate the readiness of the technology and the progress achieved in the first pilot farms.
Ocean Energy Europe is a global network of ocean energy professionals having 120 member organisations inclusive of Europe’s leading utilities, research institutes, and industrialists, and represented the interests of the ocean energy sector in Europe. The network reportedly works to improve access to funding and enhance business opportunities for its members. And, engaged with the European Commission, Parliament, Council, European Investment Bank, and national ministries on dossiers that affect sectors including climate, energy, finance, grid and consenting.