Marine renewables: Atlantic France leads the industry’s momentum

#Marinerenewableenergy #Updates&co
© M. Douillard

Atlantic France is the leading French region in the marine renewable energy sector. The latest report from the Observatoire des Énergies de la Mer (the French Observatory of Marine Energies) shows that the sector is at a strategic stage in its development and that Atlantic France remains at the forefront.

The very first French offshore wind farm has been operational in Saint-Nazaire (Atlantic France) since the end of 2022. The 480 MW farm can produce 20% of the electricity needed by the Loire-Atlantique, the region’s most populated department, with over 1.4 million inhabitants. 

This achievement is the first major milestone in the development of marine energy in France, where the country has great ambitions, aiming to reach 45GW of energy production by 2050

The latest report of the Observatoire des Énergies de la Mer, created by the Cluster Maritime Français, shows that the industry’s turnover is increasing every year and reached almost €2 billion in 2022, of which €540 million came from exports (28%).

Collectively the 4 regions of Atlantic France, Brittany, Normandy, and Île-de-France generate around 90% of total sales. Furthermore, 60% of jobs in the sector are in Atlantic France (2256) or Normandy (2232).

Key marine-renewable figures in France from 2022



€1.95 billion

in total sales

€3.2 billion


New marine technologies under development

French businesses are actively engaging in the development of emerging marine renewable energy technologies, starting with floating wind turbines, which are currently in the pre-commercialisation phase. Atlantic France is home to France’s very first floating wind turbine, which is installed at the Sem-Rev site off Le Croisic and has been connected to the grid since 2018.

Among the other technologies being developed, the Observatoire des Énergies de la Mer report cites tidal turbines, wave power, floating solar power (such as those pioneered by Nantes-based startup Heliorec), and osmotics.

In Atlantic France, the innovative company Geps Techno is developing prototypes of multi-energy systems such as the autonomous platform Wavegem which converts wave and solar energy into electricity.

The challenge of recruiting qualified talent

As with all emerging industries, marine-renewable-energy businesses report difficulties in recruiting qualified staff for their professions: 40% encountered problems in filling positions in 2022, and 52% believe that there are not yet enough specialised training courses.

In Atlantic France, academics are mobilising to train the necessary talent, and the Weamec ecosystem has identified 88 training courses in this field, from youth training to PhDs.

Are you in the marine-renewable-energy business and interested in the opportunities that await you in Atlantic France? Download our guide on the sector now. 

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