The French marine energy industry has long lagged behind that of its UK counterpart. With a series of technical challenges and limited public confidence, marine energy has for several years struggled to get off the ground.
However, the fact that France harbours up to a fifth of Europe’s marine energy potential of 15GW, and strong government support over recent years means that it is now becoming a serious player on the international renewables stage.
French industrial interests have weighed heavily into tidal technology in recent years with the Alstom purchase Tidal Generation Limited and DCNS acquiring OpenHydro. While most of their development activity is still focused on the British Isles, developers are declaring ambitious plans; GDF Suez are currently carrying out feasibility studies on the Raz Blanchard and Passage Du Fromveur regions which are believed to be worth upwards of 80% of the marine potential in France. Meanwhile, EDF edges steadily towards commissioning the Paimpol-Brehat project in partnership with OpenHydro, which promises to be the largest commercial scale tidal project once it is completed.
This November, West Normandy Marine Energy will host a dedicated half-day conference at the annual tidal industry meeting point featuring key representatives of the French tidal market. Along with the Ports of Normandy Association, Frances Energies Marines and the French grid operator RTE, WNME will outline the marine power opportunity in the Normandy region and the growing opportunity for both manufacturers and developers in the region.
West Normandy Marine Energy will form an essential part of the 7th International Tidal Energy Summit (25-27 November, London), the leading international meeting point for the tidal energy market. Featuring leading representatives from GDF Suez, Scottish Power Renewables, DP Marine Energy, Alstom Tidal Generation, Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, Siemens Marine Current Turbines, ScotRenewables, Tidal Energy Ltd and many more, ITES2013 is the centre for commercial networking in the tidal power space.
The 7th International Tidal Energy Summit (25th-27th November, Victoria Park Plaza, London). For full agenda speaker and registration information visit www.tidaltoday.com/tidal-conference
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